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Do You Need a Sound Card?

People with a passing knowledge of computer hardware might know that most people don’t need a sound card at all. But how do you define “most people?” Whenever you’re hearing people say sound cards are unnecessary, they’re usually referring to the fact that onboard sound (that is, sound from your motherboard) has evolved enough over the years to make traditional sound cards obsolete.

And in many cases, especially on newer computers, this is true. However, onboard sound can still suffer from electrical interference (thanks to your sound processing being done in proximity to the rest of your computer), and with older machines onboard sound sometimes can be outright painful to listen to.

So if you’re on an older machine with poor onboard sound/no onboard sound support, you should probably buy yourself a sound card. Other parties might want to purchase sound cards, too, such as professional gamers and high-end audio enthusiasts. More on that in a bit.

Benefits of a Sound Card

Aside from the obvious boosts to quality, there are a few key benefits to buying a sound card.

Support for more audio channels – 5.1 and 7.1 channel audio offers more ports for better surround sound speaker systems and directional audio in headphones.

Adding more/better audio ports to a system that otherwise doesn’t have them.

On older systems/CPUs, sound cards can take some load off of the CPU by handling the sound processing instead. In modern hardware, though, this difference isn’t really noticeable.

Shielding against an electric interference. High-end sound cards will have an actual shield to prevent electrical interference from other components entirely, but even unshielded sound cards make a world of difference when plugged into the lowest PCI slot on a motherboard away from everything else.

More accurate bass, sounds and directional audio. If you’re dealing with a low-end onboard sound chip, the leap to a sound card will be immense based solely on how much clearer you’ll be hearing the audio. However, note that these benefits can only be enjoyed on hardware that’s good enough. You’re not going to get better sound out of a pair of earbuds you grabbed at the register for $3, for instance.

Comparing Sound Cards

When comparing sound cards to one another, there are four primary specifications to compare. These specs are as follows.

Audio channels Bit depth

Bit depth ranges from 8 to 16 to 24. You’ll see this spec toted around a lot, but most don’t know what it actually means. Basically, bit depth manages the range of what you can hear, with 24-bit depth in audio being nigh perfectly accurate. High bit-depth benefits even low-quality audio by lowering the noise floor and ceiling. Basically, the lower your bit depth, the harder it will be to distinguish quiet from loud. 16 is the bare minimum, and 24 is high end.


Sound-to-noise ratio. Have you ever plugged in your speakers and turned them up really high while nothing was playing? That buzzing you heard is the “noise” in SNR. The higher your SNR, the quieter that background noise.

Sample Rate

Sample rate is measured in KHz and ranges from 44.1 to as high as 192. Some audiophiles swear that the astronomically high numbers are better, but unless you have world-class hearing and equipment, you’re unlikely to hear the difference in most cases. 44/48 KHz is absolutely fine, but if you’re investing in high-end audio hardware you can go higher. It can lead to dimishining returns, though.

How Much You Should Be Paying For One

Finally, there’s the discussion of what you should be paying for a sound card. I’ll separate your payments into tiers based on what you want/need, as well as some additional notes.

$20-40 USD: if your onboard audio is bugged or nonexistent and you just need some proper sound.

$50-$80 USD: if your onboard audio is fine but doesn’t support your gaming headphones or sound system.

$90-$150 USD: if you want the highest possible clarity and quality in your audio but are fine with your audio as it is, there’s no need to make a big leap.

$150-$200 USD: if you’re an audio professional, but note that you’ll also need to invest in high-end headphones.

If you make sure you’re buying a modern sound card from a reputable brand and follow this guide you should be fine. If you’re interested in reading up on buying some decent headphones, read Nicholas’s article on the topic.

Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Christopher Harper

I’m a longtime gamer, computer nerd, and general tech enthusiast.

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You're reading Buying A Sound Card: Benefits, Pricing And More

Best Fi Wireless Plans In 2023: Pricing, Phone Options, And More

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Google boasts a successful line of Pixel phones and a more extensive smart home product portfolio than you can shake a stick at. Why not let it manage your mobile coverage? Google Fi is unique among MVNOs, and it supports a jaw-dropping list of phones. If you want an alternative to the Big Three that’s all about flexibility, it just might be the way to go.

Google Fi’s plans fall into two basic categories, so we’ll cover them both in our breakdown. We’ll also touch on the long list of devices you can bring to the network from OEMs worldwide. Although Google Fi is an MVNO already, we’ll touch on a few of its top competitors to give you a bigger picture. Ready to try the carrier made by Google? Let’s get to it.

The best Google Fi Wireless plans at a glance

Flexible is perfect for those that don’t use much data. You pay just $20 monthly for unlimited talk and text, then $10 per every GB used. To keep your bill from getting too crazy, Google gives you free unlimited data after you’ve paid for 6GB — a bill total of $80 for one line. This plan is a bit of a hybrid between prepaid and postpaid, as you pay a monthly fee ahead, but the actual data is charged after the billing month ends. Have multiple lines? You can get discounted rates as low as $17 per line for 4  lines, though you pay the same $10 per GB for data.

Simply Unlimited is perfect for families that use more than a few gigs of data. At $60 a month for one line, Simply Unlimited isn’t the cheapest plan when you consider it’s not truly unlimited. You get just 35GB of high-speed data; afterward, things slow down to just 256kbps until the next billing period. If you’re just one person, we don’t really recommend this plan. That said, families will see the rate drop down to just $30 for four lines, and most users don’t really use more than 35GB of data anyhow.

Simply Unlimited Plus is best for frequent travelers who use a lot data. If you’re a frequent traveler, we recommend Plus over Simply Unlimited. It’s just $10 more for one line, yet you get 50GB of data, a Google One membership, and free texting and data in many countries across the globe. If you travel a lot, this is the way to go. There are also discounts that can bring it down to as little as $45 per line for four lines.

Which Fi Wireless plan do we recommend? Flexible

The best way to save some money with Google Fi is to opt for the Flexible plan. You’ll pay a monthly rate for service — no more than $20 per month — and then pay per gig of data you use. Data access becomes free after reaching a certain threshold each month, just 6GB for a single line. After that, you can still use high-speed data up to 15GB without further fees. It works as a cap for your bill, so you never pay more than a specific price. What you do with that data is up to you; full-speed hotspot access is included.

If you plan to go abroad, Fi is the carrier to beat. You get free texts, international calls from just one cent per minute, and data at the standard rate. In fact, if you only travel a few times a year, you’ll be better off using Flexible for your travels than an Unlimited Plan. You’ll be able to use a lot of data after you max out your 6GB cap, yet you’ll never pay more than $80 a month. 


Great for those who don’t use a lot of data regularly.

Can use more data on occasion if you’re willing to pay the extra charge (up to a max of $80 a month total)

Great for occasional travelers, as the $10 per GB rate applies internationally as well. And calling starts at just $.01 a minute. 

There are no limits on video streaming quality. 


Can get pricey if you regularly use a lot of data on this plan. 

Simply Unlimited

Google recently split its unlimited tier in half, making it a slightly more affordable option for those planning to stay in the US. The Simply Unlimited plan, as it’s called, offers all of the talk, text, and data you need, as well as free calls to Canada and Mexico. The big kicker is that Simply Unlimited starts at $60 per month for one user, saving you some money over the all-in unlimited plan.

You’ll still get 35GB of high-speed data, but there’s no hotspot tethering this time. Simply Unlimited doesn’t come with a baked-in Google One membership either, so you may have to drop a few extra dollars each month.


Great for those who use a lot of data.

Free calls to Canada and Mexico.


It limits video streaming to standard definition (480p).

No international data or texts.

No hotspot access at all. 

Unlimited Plus

Use as much data as you want, up to 50GB

Google One membership included

Go abroad with free texts and data as well as low calling rates

Best for:

Users who want it all and plan to spend ample time abroad


Go abroad with free text and data, as well as low calling rates.

Google One Membership included.

You get hotspot access with this plan.


It limits video streaming to standard definition (480p).

Can be a bit too pricey if you don’t regularly travel or use a ton of data. 

Google Fi vs the competition

Up to unlimited 4G LTE or 5G data per month

Calling included to Mexico and Canada


Visible is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Verizon, which means you get a massive nationwide network without the costs often associated with Big Red. It keeps your plan options even easier than Google Fi because there’s only one. You’ll get unlimited talk, text, and data for $40 per month, which you can drop to $25 per month thanks to Party Pay.

Party Pay involves teaming up with as many other friends on the Visible network as you please. You’ll save $5 for each user you add, but all of you will pay separately. That means one late payer won’t drag down the others. Every time you refer a friend to the network, Visible will reward you with a month of service for just $5. Also, Visible will let you tap into hotspot access, and it’s finally added genuine international coverage for both Canada and Mexico.


Unlimited talk, text, and data

Pay as little as $25 per month with Party Pay

Cricket Wireless

The last competitor, Cricket Wireless, relies on AT&T as an owned MVNO. Although it’s part of the AT&T umbrella, Cricket acts like its own network, offering various plans and add-ons to make the most of your service. The best — and most expensive — plan you can get is Cricket More, and it serves as the high-end unlimited option. For your money, you’ll get unlimited talk, text, and data, and 15GB of hotspot included.

Sticking to the More idea, you can use your plan in Canada and Mexico only if it’s less than half of your service. Cricket also allows you to add on even more hotspot access or add calling to individual international countries for a fee.


Usage in Canada and Mexico up to 50%

15GB mobile hotspot included; add more for a fee

Best Google Fi phones

Our recommended mid-ranger: Google Pixel 6a

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Google’s Pixel A series has long been a staple in the premium budget smartphone market, and the Google Pixel 6a is no exception. Its $449 MSRP offers an enticing package with specs and features that get pretty close to a high-end experience.

The Pixel 6a features a powerful Google Tensor processor, which is actually the same one you’ll find in the high-end Pixel 6 series. This, along with the 6GB of RAM, will ensure an impressive performance considering the price tag. It also comes with a 6.1-inch OLED screen. The battery is pretty good at 4,410mAh.

If you care about the camera system, this one comes with two sensors: 12.2MP and 12MP. This is a bit of a downgrade when compared to the other Pixel 6 devices, but you still get Google’s AI photo improvements, which should result in great images.

Our recommended budget pick: Samsung Galaxy A14 5G 

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

If you want a true budget phone, the Galaxy A14 5G is a great pick. Without making any major concessions, it hit an even lower price than its predecessor, the A13 5G, dropping below $200.

In our testing, the basics were all there: good main camera performance, two-day battery life, and the eponymous 5G connection that should keep it going for years to come. Combined with Samsung’s promise of two years of Android updates and four years of security updates, there’s a lot of value to be had here for budget-conscious buyers.

Of course, there are some inevitable drawbacks to such a cheap phone. For example, the plastic back isn’t the sturdiest (buy a case to solve this), and the screen is a bit dim. Other issues, like the poor speakers and paltry 64GB of storage, are made up for with the inclusion of a headphone jack and microSD card slot.

Does Fi Wireless offer any special discounts?

Frequently asked questions

Yes, all phones purchased for Fi Wireless are sold in unlocked form and can be taken to any other carrier you wish.

Yes, both the iPhone 14 and iPhone SE (2023) are available from Google Fi and you can bring almost any (reasonably recent) unlocked iPhone to the network.

Yes, with the exception of Simply Unlimited. The Flexible and Unlimited Plus plan both include international support and lower costs than most of the competition.

The answer to that is subjective. Is it cheaper? In most cases, yes. If you’re looking for an alternative to the big three, Google Fi works and feels the most like a postpaid option. In fact Flexible plan users do in fact pay for most of their bill after the month ends.

Yes! Select Samsung Galaxy, iPhone, and Pixel devices support E-Sim technology on Google Fi.

Top Advantages And Disadvantages Of Pricing Software

Introduction to Pricing Software

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Key Highlights

Pricing software is an automated system that enables business owners and developers to fix the prices of their goods appropriately while assessing the influential economic, geographic, and legal parameters.

The issue of pricing automation is especially acute for online stores that offer a fairly solid list of products in different geographical areas and must consider not only their own but also competitors’ pricing policy. Large amounts of information, their collection, and analysis take a lot of time for pricing specialists. Therefore, pricing software design helps reduce time and human resources in solving this problem.

Advantages of Pricing Software Free time:

The director can use the pricing software to carry out the pricing procedure ten times faster.

The team can direct the free time to develop the retail network, which will bring positive results in sales growth.

Reduced Errors:

Prices are calculated automatically according to specified formulas and algorithms.

It reduces errors, as the probability of making mistakes in the manual calculation is much higher.

Profit growth:

It provides increased turnover and the ability to control other areas of the retail network.

It reflects in revenue and profit growth.


Reducing routine tasks gives a person more time for more creative and diverse areas.

Thus, the director can review the profitability dynamics of individual assortment lines and retail stores in their free time.

Possible Programming errors:

Incorrectly written algorithms, not using proper formulas, attributing them to the wrong product lines to which they should belong, etc.

All of this can reflect incorrect pricing, inconsistent with the goals of the enterprise.

Unnecessary Automation:

It may not be desirable to automatically transfer goods to a group with a higher trade margin in case of frequent changes in the purchase price.

The system’s lack of adjustment of the retail price can lead to a shortfall in the target profit. In this regard, specialists must check retail prices and the total price change for the month.

Fluctuating Prices:

The software averages the prices when the receiving supplies are at different purchase prices.

As price regularly increases due to inflation and other factors, the company may spend the entire margin averaged by the system to purchase goods in the future.

Then the company does not receive the target profit from the goods.

Automation Failure:

In case of failure of the automation system, i.e., due to the failure of the hard drive or other elements, loss of entire or partial data is possible.

Re-entering data for the entire product range and all outlets manually may require as much time as was saved from the automation system.

Dependency on Automation:

If the business depends on an enterprise supplier of the automation system and the supplier closes, another company will have to service the system.

Final Thoughts Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Q1. What is pricing software?

Answer: As E-commerce is becoming a prevalent method of buying and selling products, businesses must offer competitive pricing with varying trade margins for business growth. The pricing software gathers data from GA, CRM, and E-Commerce platforms and produces useful pricing options. The algorithms must consider the changes in costs, competitor pricing, taxes, and shipping and match the prices of similar products in the customer’s geographic locale.

Q3. What are the five pricing methods?

Answer: The five pricing methods include cost-plus, penetration, competitive, value-based, and price skimming pricing. While the cost-plus performs the markup after totaling the costs, penetration pricing enters the market at a low price and gradually increases the prices. Competitive pricing chooses a competitive price, whereas value-based pricing sets fees as per customer review. Price skimming imposes both high and low costs to match the evolving market.

Q4. Can we solely depend on pricing software?

Answer: No, we cannot solely depend on pricing software. It has to have a proper analyst who knows the essential economic and legal parameters while penetrating a new selling location.

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A Choir Of Angels And So Much More

A Choir of Angels and So Much More CFA stages opera adaptation of epic Angels in America

Benjamin Taylor (CFA’16) portrays a man dying of AIDS in the CFA opera Angels in America. Photos by Oshin Gregorian

Tony Kushner’s rich, sprawling play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes is nothing if not operatic, so it was perhaps inevitable that it would be adapted as an opera. Set in 1985 and staged in two parts, Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, Kushner’s Pulitzer- and Tony-winning drama became the unsparing morality play of the first, devastating decade of the AIDS epidemic. Its transcendent themes of love, death, good, and evil are played out by a cast of characters—real and imagined—spanning the contemporary American experience. The AIDS epidemic was a tragedy of epic proportions, as those who witnessed the agonizing deaths of loved ones can attest.

Kushner’s play was made into an HBO miniseries in 2003, and a year later composer Peter Eötvös and librettist Mari Mezei created an opera based on the play. Rarely staged, the opera had its American premiere in Boston in 2006 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. Tonight it returns to the city with a mainstage production at the Boston University Theatre, presented by the College of Fine Arts School of Music Opera Institute and School of Theatre, one of CFA’s two annual operas performed and designed by students.

Like the Angels plays, which one critic described as marrying the extravagant and the mundane, the opera dances all over the human landscape. “No one will leave unscathed,” says stage director Jim Petosa, a CFA professor of theater and School of Theatre director. He and conductor William Lumpkin, a CFA associate professor of music and Opera Institute artistic director, have interpreted Eötvös’ Angels with minimalist sets that make riveting use of light and reflective surfaces and a cast of gifted singers whose most important passages are actually spoken. For Lumpkin, the production demands an edgy, jazzy mix of musical performance combined with electronically generated sounds, including bells and sirens. The angels chorus “smacks you in the face with sound,” says Arielle Basile (CFA’15), who sings the part of the Angel. “It’s otherworldly.”

The opera, being performed with alternating casts, combines and condenses Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, which together run seven hours, into two and a half hours. Like Kushner’s drama, Eötvös’ plot swirls around the visions of a young man dying of AIDS and is woven from a tapestry of characters, dead and alive, singing multiple roles, ranging from the obscure—a closeted gay Mormon, a former drag queen, and an elderly Orthodox rabbi—to the historically prominent, among them Ethel Rosenberg and Roy Cohn. And of course, those angels.

Quoting Ezra Pound—“To condense is to transcend”—Petosa admires Eötvös’ deftness at distilling Kushner’s sprawling drama into less than half the original running time. New York Times critic Bernard Holland writes of Angels the opera that “if the opportunities to ruminate have been curtailed in Mari Mezei’s libretto, the death clock of the AIDS epidemic sounds with an even more urgent tick.” And in the program notes Eötvös writes, “Hallucination and reality merge perfectly in Angels in America. It is precisely this characteristic of Kushner’s play which has inspired me most to work on this piece. In my opera version, I do not focus so much on the political aspect of the piece, but instead emphasize the passionate relationships and the dramatic suspense created by the strong writing, as well as the shapeless condition of the hallucinations.”

“It takes all of us out of our comfort zones,” says Jesse Darden (CFA’16), who sings the role of young Jewish New Yorker Louis Ironson. “This piece has us going from opera singers to singing actors.” Singing the role of Prior, the lead character dying of AIDS, tenor Ben Taylor (CFA’16) says the piece is a challenge, not only because the singers wear microphones, something their former opera roles didn’t demand, but because the music stretches the range limits of the singers. For John Allen Nelson (CFA’16), the alternate Prior, the opera is particularly challenging, because the spoken parts must be delivered rhythmically; they are, in a sense, scored. “It turns the piece on its head,” Nelson says, describing the opera as pervaded by “a sense of unease.”

“It’s such an exciting, different kind of experience,” says Petosa. “It’s got anger, it’s got radical thinking, it’s got self-loathing, and it’s viscerally human.” And although much of it is heartbreaking, Angels ends on a note of hope.

Angels in America runs tonight, February 19, Friday, February 20, and Saturday, February 21, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 22, at 2 p.m., at the Boston University Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave., Boston. Tickets are $20 for the general public, $15 for BU alumni, WGBH members, Huntington Theatre Company subscribers, and senior citizens; $5 for students with ID. Members of the BU community can get two free tickets with BU ID at the door on the day of performance. By public transportation, take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Hynes Auditorium or Symphony, or the Orange Line to Mass. Ave. Purchase tickets here or call 617-933-8600.

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Ipad Air: History, Specs, Pricing, Review, Deals, And Rumors


The iPad Air was first introduced in 2013. With a 9.7-inch display, it was really thin and light, weighing only 469 grams – over 25% lighter than its respective predecessor, the iPad 4.

When the iPad Air 2 was announced, a year later in 2014, Apple could deliver a thinner and faster tablet than its predecessor, weighing only 437 grams. The second-generation iPad was sold until March of 2023. Although it was a great tablet, Apple was focusing on the regular model and the Pro at the time.

Surprisingly in 2023, the company introduced the third-generation iPad Air, this time with a 10.5-inch Retina display, support for the first-generation Apple Pencil, and an upgraded Apple A12 Bionic chip.

With the fourth-generation iPad Air being introduced in October of 2023, Apple finally gave this iPad a fresh look, with a bezel-less design, and a five-color option, while being the first product with the A14 chip and integrating the Touch ID sensor on the Side Button. This iPad generation also lacks the headphone jack and supports the second-generation Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard, previously exclusive to the iPad Pro line.

In March of 2023, Apple unveiled its fifth-generation iPad Air. This tablet got new color options, the M1 chip from the iPad Pro and new Macs, as well as a faster USB-C port. The iPad Air 5 is the latest tablet from Apple to add Center Stage support and, alongside the iPad Pro and iPad mini, it finally brings 5G to its Cellular version.

iPad Air Specs

The fifth-generation iPad Air has a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, with a bezel-less design. This iPad comes in five different colors: Space Gray, Pink, Purple, Blue, and Starlight. With the M1 chip, this tablet gets closer to the iPad Pro in power performance.

As it did with the previous model, Apple moved the Touch ID from the Home Button to the Side Button. Still, this tablet doesn’t feature a ProMotion display or camera flash.

Talking about the camera, it has a 12MP sensor, with ƒ/1.8 aperture, Smart HDR support, 1080p 30fps video recording, video stabilization, and more. The front camera has been revamped with an Ultra-Wide lens with 12MP that supports the Center Stage feature.

This iPad comes with 64GB or 256GB storage options and Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions. The fifth-generation iPad Air also has support for the second-generation Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard.

Accessories: Magic Keyboard and second-generation Apple Pencil

Following along with its previous model, the iPad Air 5 works with Magic Keyboard and second-generation Apple Pencil. These two accessories help this tablet feel more “Pro” than the iPad mini or even the base model iPad.

The Magic Keyboard is available in black and white and features a great typing experience, a trackpad that opens up new ways to work with iPadOS, a USB‑C port for pass-through charging, and front and back protection. The Magic Keyboard has a floating cantilever design, allowing you to attach the iPad Air magnetically and smoothly adjust it to the perfect viewing angle for you.

Comfortable backlit keys and a scissor mechanism with 1 mm travel for quiet, responsive typing.

Designed for Multi‑Touch gestures and the cursor in iPadOS.

Smooth angle adjustability delivers the perfect viewing angle.

USB-C port for charging iPad Pro and iPad Air, freeing up the port on the iPad for other accessories.

Folds into a case to provide front and back protection.

The second-generation Apple Pencil delivers pixel-perfect precision and industry-leading low latency, making it great for drawing, sketching, coloring, taking notes, marking up PDFs, and more. It features a flat edge that attaches magnetically for automatic charging and pairing on the iPad Air.

The Magic Keyboard costs $299 but you can find it at a lower price at the Amazon store here. The Apple Pencil (2nd gen) costs $129 but you can find it at a lower price at the Amazon store here.

iPadOS 15 features

The fifth-generation iPad Air features iPadOS 15. Previewed during the WWDC21 keynote, the operating system brings a redesigned Home Screen with widgets and App Library support.

On iPadOS 15, FaceTime group calls can finally appear in a grid, so it’s easier to see everyone. It’s also possible to share your screen, listen to Apple Music songs together, or watch Apple TV+, HBO Max, Disney+, and others while in a call.

The experience with an external keyboard allows users to get more done with all-new keyboard shortcuts and a redesign of the menu bar.

With Universal Control, which will later be available on the Mac, it’ll be possible to arrange the devices together and use the same mouse and keyboard on multiple Apple devices.

With the Quick Note feature, users can use the Apple Pencil to add a quick note. They just need to slide the pencil through the bottom right corner to the center of the screen and start writing.

Learn more about iOS 15 here.

iPadOS 15.1 features

One month after releasing iPadOS 15, Apple released iPadOS 15.1 More notable, the company finally brought SharePlay support for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Unfortunately, Universal Control wasn’t one of the features added with this new version. Here’s what else is new:


Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan) support in the Translate app and for system-wide translation


New automation triggers based on the current reading of a HomeKit-enabled humidity, air quality, or light level sensor


New pre-built actions let you overlay text on images or gifs, plus a new collection of games lets you pass the time with Siri

iPadOS 15.2 features

Five weeks after releasing iPadOS 15.1, Apple is releasing iPadOS 15.2. It brings more features that were expected to launch alongside iPadOS 15. Here are the top features of this version:

Apple Music Voice Plan is a new subscription tier that gives you access to all songs, playlists, and stations in Apple Music using Siri

App Privacy Report in Settings lets you see how often apps have accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone, contacts, and more during the last seven days, as well as their network activity

Communication safety setting gives parents the ability to enable warnings for children when they receive or send photos that contain nudity

Digital Legacy allows you to designate people as Legacy Contacts so they can access your iCloud account and personal information in the event of your death

Apple TV app: Store tab lets you browse, buy, and rent movies and TV Shows all in one place

iPadOS 15.3 features

Six weeks after releasing iPadOS 15.2, Apple is releasing iPadOS 15.3. This update foregoes new features in favor of under-the-hood bug fixes and improvements. One of the most notable changes here is a fix for a Safari vulnerability that may have been leaking your browsing history and Google ID data to the websites you visited.

iPadOS 15.4 features

iPadOS 15.4 finally brings one of the most important features expected from iPadOS 15 and that got delayed: Universal Control. Here’s everything new with iPadOS 15.4:

Universal Control: This feature allows you to control your Mac and iPad using the same keyboard and mouse/trackpad. Universal Control needs iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3;

New Siri voice: Siri has a fifth American voice. Apple says a member of the LGBTQ+ community recorded the voice and it’s non-binary;

More emoji: iPadOS 15.4 also brings new emojis. You can discover all of the new characters here;

Shortcuts automation: Adds support for running Personal Automations in the background without requiring a pesky banner notification.

You can learn everything new with this update here.

iPadOS 15.5 features

Different from other software updates, iPadOS 15.5 only improves the Podcast app experience, as Apple focused on Wallet changes for the iPhone this time:

Apple Podcasts includes a new setting to limit episodes stored on your iPhone and automatically delete older ones

iPadOS 15.6 features

iPadOS 15.6 is yet another small update for iPad users. Here’s what’s news:

TV app adds the option to restart a live sports game already in progress and pause, rewind, or fast-forward.

Fixes an issue where Settings may continue to display that device storage is full even if it is available.

Fixes an issue that may cause Braille devices to slow down or stop responding when navigating text in Mail.

Fixes an issue in Safari where a tab may revert to a previous page.

iPadOS 15.7 features

Apple released iPadOS 15.7 with bug fixes while the company readies iPadOS 16.


iPad Air (2023) pricing starts at $599 for the 64GB storage option with Wi-Fi only. The prices can go up to $879 with the 256GB storage option and Wi-Fi + Cellular. Here are the full prices of the fifth-generation AIr Apple sells:

64GB with Wi-Fi: $599

64GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $729

256GB with Wi-Fi: $749

256GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $899

Lower prices may be available from Apple’s official Amazon store.

iPad Air Review

In our video review of the fourth-generation iPad Air, we described it as the “default iPad to buy:”

Overall the iPad Air is a great tablet on its own. I still think anyone looking to get a new iPad for school and productivity would probably be better off with an iPad Pro, especially if you’re going to get the pencil and the keyboard. An Air 4 with a keyboard and pencil is about $200 less than what it would be for a Pro with the keyboard and pencil. And so you must decide whether the extra features you get with the iPad Pro are worth the extra $200. If not, then the Air 4 is a great steal.

As soon as we review the newest iPad Air 5, we’ll update this section.


Over at 9to5Toys, you can find the best deals on the iPad Air and other Apple products. Download the 9to5Toys iPhone app to receive push notifications for new deals as well.


Apple just released iPad Air 5. For a future update, some rumors believe Apple will bet on an OLED display for the tablet instead of an LCD panel.

2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Pricing And Fuel Economy Confirmed

2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback pricing and fuel economy confirmed

Toyota has confirmed pricing and fuel economy numbers for the new 2023 Corolla Hatchback, and there’s generally good news all round. The first of the 12th generation Corolla range to hit the market, it replaces the 2023 Corolla iM – previously known as the Scion iM – with more power and more economy.

Indeed, the step up over the old iM is considerable, with the 2023 Corolla Hatchback besting its predecessor by several points – depending on where you’re driving – whether you opt for the six-speed manual transmission or the CVT. The 2023 Corolla Hatchback SE MT does 28 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg combined. In contrast, the old Corolla iM manual did 27 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined.

As for the CVT, the new 2023 Corolla Hatchback SE CVT does 32 mpg in the city, 42 mpg on the highway, and 36 mpg combined. The XSE CVT version of the new car gets 30 mpg, 38 mpg, and 33 mpg respectively. Meanwhile, the old iM CVT did 28 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg combined. EPA figures for the XSE MT are yet to be confirmed.

It’s an impressive showing, considering the new Dynamic Force 2.0-liter engine pushes power to 168 hp and torque to 151 lb-ft. of torque. That’s 31 hp and 25 lb-ft. more than the old 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mustered. As we found when we drove both transmissions last month, the new Corolla Hatchback is eons ahead in driving enthusiasm, too.

In the CVT, that’s in no small part down to Toyota’s use of a mechanical first gear. That helps avoid some of the rubber-banding feel that continuously-variable transmissions can suffer from, with lag between when you put your foot down on the gas and when the drivetrain actually starts delivering power to the wheels. It’s not to say the manual gearbox has been left out of the fun, mind. That gets a new “Intelligent Manual Transmission” mode, which switches on rev-matching among the things.

If there’s a downside, it’s that the price has risen slightly over the old iM. The 2023 Corolla Hatchback SE MT starts at $19,990 (plus $920 destination), while the SE CVT starts from $21,090. That’s between $1k and $1.5k more than the previous hatchback, though it’s worth noting that you get far more tech as standard in the new car.

The 2023 Corolla Hatchback XSE MT will be $22,990, meanwhile, and the XSE CVT from $24,090. Again, count an extra $920 destination on top of all those numbers.

As for options, the adaptive front lighting system – which uses extra, angled lamps to illuminate around corners when you turn – will be a $415 extra on the XSE trim. The SE Preferred Package, with Entune 3.0 Audio Plus, app suite support, Toyota Connected Services, and blind-spot monitoring will be $1,400. The XSE Preferred Package, which steps up to Entune 3.0 Premium Audio with an 800W JBL 8-speaker system, Toyota Connected Services, navigation, and Qi wireless charging for your phone will be $1,600.

Finally, Blizzard Pearl premium paint will be $395 regardless of trim. Sales kick off when the 2023 Corolla Hatchback arrives in dealerships this summer.

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