'New' iPhone 14, Slack to get ChatGPT, food scams on the rise in Singapore and more

Bite-sized updates about tech news you might have missed in this week's Tech C Siew Dai

A composite image of tech: a yellow Apple iPhone 14 and a Slack logo.
In this week's tech news, we see a new iPhone 14 release and some Slack updates. (Photo: Apple/Getty Images)

These are the tech news that you may have missed this week

Apple releases a new iPhone 14 colour

Apple has always introduced new colour variants to its phones midway into their life cycle. It released a green colour previously for its iPhone 13 lineup, and has made the same decision for the iPhone 14.

For those who like loud colours, the iPhone 14 now comes in a bright yellow hue, similar to the POCO X5 Pro that we reviewed recently. Sadly, it is only available for the non-Pro versions this time around.

The front and back of a yellow iPhone 14
The new iPhone 14 in yellow. (Photo: Apple)

This isn't the first time Apple has had a yellow phone though. This colour was first introduced for their iPhone XR lineup in 2018 and the iPhone 11 in 2019.

Pricing still seems to remain the same for the yellow iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus in Singapore and Malaysia, so there are no extra charges if you decide that you want this shiny new colour. Just bear in mind that USB-C is coming to the iPhone soon.

ChatGPT comes to Slack

ChatGPT and AI-based tools have been all over the news recently. With Google trying to compete with the likes of Microsoft's ChatGPT implementations, it is inevitable that AI technologies will soon seep into every aspect of our lives.

So it comes as no surprise that Slack recently introduced ChatGPT's functions into its ecosystem, albeit just in beta.

If you are not familiar with Slack, it is a messaging app that is frequently used by businesses for company communications.

A logo of chat app, Slack, on a phone.
Slack gets OpenAI's ChatGPT in a beta. (Photo:Getty Images) (SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Using ChatGPT, Slack can draft messages and summarise threads. Users can click on a chat thread's menu button and select the "summarise thread" or "draft reply" option and the app will concoct a summary or response that only the user can see.

Slack also says that no data accessed will be used by OpenAI, ChatGPT's creator, for any "service improvements".

There is no specific official launch date for the feature yet, but you are able to get access to the beta here.

Microsoft Outlook app is now free for Mac users

Believe it or not, email app Outlook from Microsoft was always a paid service for Mac users.

If you are not subscribed to the Office 365 service from Microsoft, you were out of luck if you switched from Windows to Mac, and were using the Outlook app to manage your emails.

This isn't to be confused with simply using the web-based version of Outlook, which you technically can still use for free on a compatible browser. But you will sacrifice a lot of the app's features like notifications and widgets.

Anyway, Microsoft has now made Outlook a free-to-use app for the Apple ecosystem.

According to Microsoft, Mac's new Outlook is "optimised for Apple Silicon, with snappy performance and faster sync speeds than previous versions."

This is great news for users who want to try an alternative to Apple's own email app client that is pre-installed on the Mac and find it lacking. This will also increase the adoption rate of Outlook, since its paywall would have deterred some users from trying it out.

Food scams on the rise in Singapore

Despite constant reminders to be vigilant, even the best of us can fall victims to scams if it hits us in the right spot.

An ailing elderly lady was duped out of her life-savings when she fell to a scammer posing as Taiwanese singer Fei Yu-ching.

The scammer 'confessed his feelings' for her, and 'expressed his desire to see her' in Singapore. Although her friends warned her about the so-called relationship, she still proceeded to entertain the scammer.

One other form of scam that many Malaysians and Singaporeans may fall to are food scams.

Being the foodies that we are, sometimes it is hard for us to say no to a good food deal.

Singapore Police Force recently stated that at least 168 victims have fallen prey to e-commerce scams in Singapore involving the sale of food items, with losses amounting to at least S$20,000 since February 2023.

A picture of an unopened durian and an opened one in a wooden table.
Yes, there are durian scams going about as well. (Photo: Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Although the scams that were shown off used the most basic of modus operandi like vanishing after a payment has been made, this is a timely reminder that we need to be vigilant enough to recognise these.

The Singapore Police Force recommends using the app ScamShield on your phone to protect your passwords and accounts, and use government sources like Scam Alert to find out about ongoing scam cases in Singapore.

PlayStation 5 finally gets Discord

Once upon a time for console gamers, if you ever needed to play games or chat with your friends, you would always have had to have another device around like a spare PC or a mobile phone to install a voice chat app like Discord.

Discord allows you to communicate with your fellow gamer friends when you are playing games. While it was easy for PC gamers because you can run the app and play games at the same time on a single PC, console gamers always had to find an alternative device to do something similar.

A picture of a white Sony PlayStation 5 together with a controller and its packaging.
The PlayStation 5 gets an update this week that finally brings voice chat app to the console. (Photo: Getty Images) (Getty Images)

As cross-platform play is slowly becoming the norm, there are games that will see player parties made up of both PC and console gamers alike, with the need to use voice chat apps for communication.

Now, following in the footsteps of Xbox, Sony has finally introduced Discord integration for the PlayStation 5.

All you need to do is to connect your PlayStation Network account with your Discord account, and you should see the app working flawlessly on your PS5.

Sadly, this doesn't extend to users of the PlayStation 4. So if you are still gaming on that console (and let's be real, many of us still do), you will still need that separate device to continue chatting with your friends in game.

Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy watercooling his computer parts, he does some pro wrestling.

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