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Technology has progressed at such a rapid pace that it is difficult to keep up with the latest updates and information. Halfofthe, your trusted source for all things technology-related will help you stay on top of what’s hot in the world of gadgets. We cover everything from reviews of new products to helpful tips on how to get more out of your device. Join us every week for our weekly blog post!

OpenAI rolled out the voice chat feature on ChatGPT for all mobile users after initially limiting it to Plus and Enterprise subscribers. This feature offers realistic conversational capabilities with multiple voice options and has started gradually reaching free users. While the feature’s deployment is ongoing, OpenAI has seen internal turmoil, with co-founder Greg Brockman announcing its release post his resignation as President, amid company upheaval over CEO Sam Altman’s firing and subsequent reinstatement along with Brockman.

Apple is anticipated to release a new Apple TV model in the first half of 2024 with a faster processor, which could be the A16 or A17 Bionic chip. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests it may have a more competitive sub-$100 price point. No significant design changes are expected, continuing the compact design enabled by the fanless A15 Bionic chip. Exact pricing and release date are yet to be confirmed.

Apple plans to revamp its AirPods line, with a new report stating that the entire line will be overhauled starting next year until 2025. The revamp will include a new earbud design, improved audio quality, and a new look for the cases. Two new 4th-gen AirPods models will be introduced, replacing the current 2nd and 3rd-gen AirPods. The higher-end model will feature noise-canceling and a case with a speaker for Find My alerts. The AirPods Pro will offer little over the higher-end 4th-gen AirPods, while the AirPods Max will see a minor update. All new AirPods will switch from Lightning to USB-C.

Apple has confirmed that it will add support for the Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging standard to future software releases, allowing iPhone owners and Android users to share media, see read receipts, and share locations inside text threads. The move may be an attempt to appeal to European lawmakers who are considering whether Apple’s iMessage should be regulated. While the addition of RCS support will bring a more uniform messaging experience, Apple will not include end-to-end encryption like Google did for RCS messages. iMessage will continue to exist alongside RCS messaging.

Apple has announced that it will support the RCS messaging standard, which means texts from iPhones to non-iOS devices will no longer have to go through the outdated SMS/MMS system. This move aims to improve interoperability and make messaging more secure and equitable. However, Apple’s iMessage will still offer a superior experience with additional features not available on RCS. Google has welcomed Apple’s support for RCS and looks forward to implementing it on iOS. The reason for Apple’s previous resistance to RCS adoption remains unclear, but factors such as security and spam concerns may have played a role. Apple plans to enable support for RCS next year. The announcement coincides with the deadline for filing challenges at the EU’s General Court, where Apple is reportedly challenging the decision to include the App Store on a digital antitrust list. This move suggests that Apple is gradually opening up its ecosystem to other devices.

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