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Apple has released iOS 11.4 to the public. The update, available for iPhone and iPad, includes a number of new features that make it special. The software update is available now for download over the air (OTA).How we got here
In late March, Apple introduced iOS 11.3, which included lots of new features including battery health and performance settings, new Animojis, Business Chat, Health Records, and an upgrade to ARKit. Soon after, developers began testing iOS 11.4. In total, Apple released six iOS 11.4 beta versions before today’s public launch.What’s new in iOS 11.4?
With iOS 11.4, Apple finally adds two iOS 11 features that were first announced at last year’s WWDC, AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud. Other minor features are also in this update.AirPlay 2
AirPlay 2 had made numerous appearances in beta versions of iOS 11.3 but didn’t make the cut. It’s finally here in iOS 11.4.
With AirPlay 2, you can use “multi-room audio” from iOS devices, making it easier to control speakers using Control Center, the Home app, or with Siri. Previously, this was only available through iTunes under macOS or Windows.
Thanks to AirPlay 2 and a companion firmware update, users with more than one HomePod can finally listen in stereo. This will bring multi-room and stereo pairing to the HomePod and Apple TV.Messages in iCloud
Best called the big tease, Messages in iCloud has been added and removed from iOS 11 beta versions for what seems like forever. The feature moves Messages to iCloud and in doing so, allows you to sync conversations across all of your devices, including iOS, macOS, and watchOS.
In other words, when you delete a message on one device, it’s gone on the others too.Schoolwork and ClassKit
For educational users on iOS 11.4 devices, Apple has introduced Schoolwork and ClassKit. Both features were first announced at Apple’s Chicago-based educational event on March 27.
ClassKit allows app developers to add features that can be used by educational institutions with Apple School Manager and Managed Apple IDs. Teachers assign activities in Schoolwork with students’ progress recorded in ClassKit-enabled apps.Other iOS 11.4 features
The latest version of iOS 11.4 also adds a few minor features, including:
(PRODUCT)RED iPhone wallpaper on iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. If you own a different iPhone, you can install the wallpapers manually.
HomePod support for Calendar
You can grab the iOS 11.4 software from iDownloadBlog’s Download page.
For the full list of fixes and new features in iOS 11.4, check out the official release notes.iOS 11.4 release notes
iOS 11.4 includes AirPlay 2 multi-room audio, support for HomePod stereo pairs, and Messages in iCloud. This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.AirPlay 2
Control your home audio system and AirPlay 2-enabled speakers throughout your house
Play music at the same time on multiple AirPlay 2-enabled speakers in your house, all in sync
Control AirPlay 2-enabled speakers from Control Center, the Lock screen, or AirPlay controls within apps on your iPhone or iPad
Use your voice to control AirPlay 2-enabled speakers with Siri from your iPhone or iPad, HomePod, or Apple TV
Take a call or play a game on your iPhone or iPad without interrupting playback on your AirPlay 2-enabled speakersHomePod stereo pair
This update supports setting up your HomePod stereo pair using your iPhone or iPad
HomePod pair automatically senses its location in the room and balances the sound based on the speakers’ locations
Advanced beamforming provides wider soundstage than traditional stereo pair
HomePod will automatically update to support stereo pairs, unless auto updates are disabled in the Home appMessages in iCloud
Store your messages, photos, and other attachments in iCloud and free up space on your devices
All your messages appear when you sign into a new device with the same iMessage account
When you delete messages and conversations they are instantly removed from all your devices
Your conversations continue to be end-to-end encryptedOther improvements and fixes
Enables teachers to assign their students reading activities in iBooks using the Schoolwork app
Fixes an issue where certain character sequences could cause Messages to crash
Addresses a Messages issue that could cause some messages to appear out of order
Addresses an issue that could prevent logging in or accessing files on Google Drive, Google Docs and Gmail in Safari
Fixes an issue that could prevent data syncing in Health
Fixes an issue that could prevent users from changing what apps can access Health data
Resolves an issue that could cause an app to appear in an incorrect location on the Home screen
Fixes an issue where CarPlay audio could become distorted
Fixes an issue where selecting music from your iPhone could fail when playing music over Bluetooth or when connected to USB on some vehicles
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You're reading Apple Releases Ios 11.4: Here Is Everything New
Soon after today’s “Gather round” event, Apple released the gold master version of iOS 12 to developers. The update, most likely the last before iOS 12 is released to the public, is available through the Apple Developer website and over the air (OTA).
Officially called the iOS 12 GM seed, this update has a build number of 16A366.
The iOS 12 GM release notes read:
iOS 12 brings performance improvements and exciting new features to iPhone and iPad. Photos introduces new features to help you rediscover and share the photos in your library, Memoji—a new, more customizable Animoji—make Messages more expressive and fun, Screen Time helps you and your family understand and make the most of the time spent on devices, Siri Shortcuts deliver a faster way to get things done with the ability for any app to work with Siri, augmented reality becomes even more engaging with the ability for developers to create shared AR experiences, and new privacy features help protect you from being tracked on the web. This update introduces new features and improvements to:
iOS has been enhanced for a faster and more responsive experience across the system
All supported devices see improved performance, going back to iPhone 5s and iPad Air
Camera launches up to 70 percent faster, the keyboard appears up to 50 percent faster and typing is more responsive*
Apps launch up to twice as fast when your device is under heavy workload*
New For You tab helps you discover great photos in your library with Featured Photos, Effect Suggestions, and more
Sharing Suggestions proactively recommend sharing photos taken at events with the people who are in them
Search enhancements make it easier to find your photos with intelligent suggestions and multiple keyword support
Search for photos based on the place, business name, or event where you were when you took them
Improved camera import with faster performance and a new large preview mode
RAW support for editing images
Portrait mode improvements preserve fine detail between subject and background when using Stage Light and Stage Light Mono effects
QR codes are highlighted in the camera frame, making them easier to scan
Memoji, a new, more customizable Animoji, make Messages more expressive with personalized characters that are diverse and fun
Animoji now also include T. rex, ghost, koala, and tiger
Make Memoji and Animoji wink and stick out their tongue
New camera effects bring Animoji, filters, text effects, iMessage sticker packs, and shapes to the photos and videos you capture in Messages
Animoji recordings can now capture up to 30 seconds
Screen Time provides detailed information and tools to help you and your family find the right balance of time spent with apps and websites
See the time spent in apps, usage across categories of apps, how many notifications are received, and how often devices are picked up
App limits help you set the amount of time you or your child can spend in apps and on websites
Screen Time for kids lets parents manage how their child uses iPhone and iPad right from their own iOS devices
Do Not Disturb
Turn off Do Not Disturb after a set time, location or calendar event
Do Not Disturb during Bedtime hides all notifications from your lock screen while you sleep
Notifications from the same app are automatically grouped together to help you manage your notifications
Instant Tuning gives you control over your notification settings right from the lock screen
New Deliver Quietly option silently sends notifications directly to Notification Center without interrupting you
Siri Shortcuts deliver a faster way to get things done with the ability for any app to work with Siri
Siri suggests shortcuts on the Lock screen and in Search
Get motorsports results, schedules, stats and standings for Formula 1, Nascar, Indy 500 and MotoGP
Search for photos by time, location, people, topic or recent trips to find relevant photos and Memories in Photos
Translate phrases in more languages, with support for over 40 language pairs
Check facts about celebrities, such as when they were born, and ask questions about food, including calories and nutrient content
Turn flashlight on or off
More natural and expressive voice now available in Irish English, South African English, Danish, Norwegian, Cantonese and Mandarin (Taiwan)
Shared experiences in ARKit 2 let developers create innovative AR apps you can experience together with friends
Persistence enables developers to save and reload experiences right from where you left off
Object detection and image tracking gives developers new tools to recognize real world objects and track images while they move through space
AR Quick Look extends AR throughout iOS, letting you view AR objects with built-in apps like News, Safari, and Files and share them with friends with iMessage and Mail
New augmented reality app to measure objects and spaces
Draw lines across surfaces or in free space to measure, and tap on a line’s label to see more information
Automatically measure rectangular objects
Capture, share and markup screenshots of your measurements
Privacy and Security
Enhanced Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari prevents embedded content and social media buttons from tracking cross-site browsing without your permission
Strong and unique passwords are suggested automatically when creating an account or changing a password in most apps and in Safari
Security code AutoFill presents one-time security codes sent over SMS as suggestions in the QuickType bar
Sharing passwords with contacts is easier than ever using AirDrop from Passwords & Accounts in Settings
Siri supports quickly navigating to a password on an authenticated device
All-new design that makes discovering and enjoying books and audiobooks easy and fun
Reading Now makes it simple to get back to the book you’re currently reading or find great recommendations for what to read next
Add books to the new Want to Read collection to keep track of what you’d like to read next
The Book Store makes it easy to find your next favorite read with new and popular selections from our Apple Books editors and recommendations chosen just for you
The new Audiobooks store helps you find immersive stories and informative nonfiction books narrated by your favorite authors, actors, and celebrities
Search now supports lyrics so you can use a few of the words to find a song
Artist pages have an easier to browse design with a personalized station of any artist’s music
The new Friends Mix is a playlist of songs you’ll love from everything your friends are listening to
New charts to show you the daily top 100 songs in countries around the world
Apple News is redesigned to make it easier to discover new channels and topics
The new sidebar on iPad and Channels tab on iPhone make it easy to jump straight to your favorite publications and discover new ones
All-new design lets you easily view stock quotes, interactive charts, and top news on iPhone and iPad
Top Stories section includes articles selected by Apple News editors to highlight the latest news driving the market
Read Apple News stories right in the app, formatted to look great on iPhone and iPad
Watchlist includes color-coded sparklines that let you see daily performance at a glance
See an interactive chart for every ticker symbol, plus key details including after-hours price, trading volume, and more
All-new design with improved ease of use
iCloud keeps your recordings and edits in sync across all of your devices
Available on iPad with support for both portrait and landscape orientation
Get notified when movies and TV shows are available to watch in Up Next
Share your favorite movies, TV shows, and sporting events with universal links
Now supports chapters for shows that include them
Skip 30 seconds or to the next chapter with forward and back buttons in your car or on your headphones
Easily manage new episode notifications from the Listen Now screen
Live Listen now works with AirPods to help you hear more clearly
RTT phone calling now works with AT&T
Speak Selection now supports using the Siri voice to speak text that you have selected
Other features and improvements
Camera effects in FaceTime transform your look in real-time
CarPlay adds support for third-party navigation apps
On supported campuses, use contactless student ID cards in Wallet to access buildings and pay with Apple Pay
Weather includes air quality index in supported regions
Quickly swipe up from the bottom of the screen to go home on iPad
Swipe down from the top right to access Control Center on iPad
Mark Up includes a palette of additional colors and options to change line width and opacity for each tool
Battery usage chart in Settings now shows your usage for the last 24 hours or 10 days, and you can tap a bar to see app use for that period of time
On devices without 3D Touch, touch and hold the keyboard Space bar to turn your keyboard into a trackpad
Maps adds support for indoor maps for airports and malls with indoor positioning in China
New definition dictionary in Hebrew, and bilingual dictionaries in Arabic and English, and Hindi and English
New English thesaurus
Automatic software updates allow iOS updates to be installed automatically overnight
We’ll be adding more information about this update as we find it. Come back for updates.
Apple plans on releasing iOS 12 to the general public on Monday, Sept. 17.
Apple earlier today began rolling out the third betas of iOS 9, watchOS 2, and OS X 10.11 El Capitan and we’ve been digging into each of them, trying to figure out what is new, changed, and improved. Most of the changes come on the iOS 9 and watchOS 2 side of things, with the new OS X 10.11 beta focusing mainly on under-the-hood changes. Read on for all of the changes…
What’s new in watchOS beta 3:
watchOS 2 beta 3 includes a variety of enhancements and bug fixes. For one, the update enlarges the size of the keypad buttons, making them significantly easier to tap. When data is unavailable, an underscore (__) is now displayed instead of dashes. Control of brightness and volume is now more granular, with brightness control gaining another mid-tier setting and volume control gaining a smooth slider. The Music icon is also changed to match the one found in iOS 8.4 and iOS 9 and Beats 1 has been added to the Music app. The Weather app now shows the last time it was updated now, as well. Finally, beta 3 of watchOS 2 also adds Activation Lock, which Apple had previously announced was coming.
Enlarged keypad buttons
More granular control of volume and brightness
New Music icon
Beats 1 support in the Music app
Weather details when it was last updated
Activation Lock added
Pressing the Digital Crown on the app screen immediately returns you to the watch face
What’s new in El Capitan beta 3:
On the El Capitan side of things, the operating system now supports dragging a window out of the top bar in Mission Control and moving it back to the desktop as a separate window. The Calendar application also has a new splash screen that details the new features of the application. Beta 3 also fixes several bugs from beta 2, as you would it expect it to.
Several bug fixes have been made to existing features
Dragging a window out of the top bar in Mission Control now allows you to move it back to the desktop as a separate window
Calendar has a new splash screen (see above)
What’s new in iOS 9 beta 3:
Finally, on the iOS 9 beta 3 also brings its fair share of enhancements. For one, Apple News is included in the build, also in a beta form. We went hands-on with it earlier today. On the iPad, folders now support a 4×4 setup of icons, as opposed to 3×3. In the Mail app, there are new icons when you swipe left and right on messages. The Photos app has new dedicated folders for selfies and screenshots, as well. Finally, there is a new setting in Settings to allow Apple Music to stream high quality over cellular.
Apple News added
4×4 setup in folders on the iPad
New icons in Mail
Dedicated selfie and screenshot folders in Photos
Setting to allow high-quality streaming over cellular for Apple Music
New Calendar icon appears in Spotlight search
Siri no longer makes her classic “ding” sound
El Capitan, iOS 9, and watchOS 2 will all launch to the public this fall.
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Hot New Music April 2023: Local Boston Concerts, New Album Releases Recent albums from Bladee and Ecco2k, Keshi, plus live music at Allston-Brighton’s Roadrunner
Photos (from left): by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA/AP Photo, Mackenzie Walker; and Daniel DeSlover/Sipa USA/AP Photo
MusicWhat’s Hot in Music This Month: Local Concerts, New Releases Recent albums from Bladee and Ecco2k, Keshi, plus live music at Allston-Brighton’s Roadrunner
Welcome back, Terriers, to our monthly column “What’s Hot in Music This Month.”
April is a chance to de-stress before finals. And what could be a better way than listening to the latest inspired hyperpop from the duo Bladee and Ecco2k or pop-infused lo-fi from singer-songwriter Keshi. How about checking out a concert at Boston’s latest live music venue, the Roadrunner? It’s a great way to spend a spring evening.New Releases
Crest, Bladee, Ecco2k
Swedish musicians Bladee and Ecco2k met as classmates and formed the now–disbanded grindcore band Krossad. To the surprise and unadulterated joy of fans, the two have returned to collaborate on a new album, distinguished by the Auto-Tune and mix of rap-and-hyperpop that characterized their earlier work. The project, however, is set apart from the collective’s discography as potentially its best release to date, with tracks steeped in sincerity and moments providing a glimpse of what might best be described as transcendence, especially with the nine-minute “5 Star Crest.” Taking up almost a third of the album’s runtime, it brings waves of emotions: joy, loss, and awe. “The Flag is Raised,” “White Meadow,” and the 2023 single “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” continue to show off the pair’s effortless synergy, for a dreamy, seamless experience. The ultimate track? “Heaven Sings.”
From 2 to 3, Peach Pit
Just in time for spring, this Vancouver quartet seems to have found their momentum in this album of joyous bedroom pop, their third studio record. The group, Neil Smith on vocals/guitar, Christopher Vanderkooy on guitar/keyboards, Peter Wilton on bass/backup vocals, and Mikey Pascuzzi on drums, takes a sharp departure from their previous album, the heartbroken You And Your Friends, instead serving up what’s likely to be the new favorite feel-good soundtrack of the season. “Pepsi on the House,” the album’s upbeat anthem is perfect for a warm evening drive, with its contagious digital synths and provocative, cheeky lyrics: “Live a little won’t you, just to seem like your own age…Wake up and see that morning changes all / And everything else will go.” So hop in, put the keys in the ignition, and take From 2 to 3 out for a spin.
After six EPs and a rapid climb to stardom, lo-fi royalty Keshi’s latest project marks a defining moment in his career. Gabriel, the Texas musician’s 12-track debut studio album, displays his growth over the past five years, going back to his early Soundcloud days (where he produced and performed all instrumentals and vocals). Gabriel sees Keshi step into a new era, experimenting with a style more embedded in mainstream pop and EDM than his usual signature “sad boy” genre. Leading track “Get It” shows his musical progression. The track may surprise longtime followers, revealing a more materialistic and sexual, but also motivational and confident, side of Keshi. Standouts include “Touch,” an exploration of eroticism, “HELL/HEAVEN,” a breathtaking, desperate declaration of love, and the half-confessional, half-hopeful “LIMBO.”
Forever, Phife Dawg
Posthumous albums can be controversial, but the work that’s gone into the release of Forever, six years after the death of Phife Dawg, has proven to be a labor of love. The former member and rapper of the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest died of diabetes-related complications in 2024, just three days after he recorded the last verses of his career for “Forever,” the song the album is named for: “Today it seems like a blur / Never deferred from being just who we were / Four brothers with a mic and a dream, construction Timbs.” The project was the brainchild of Phife’s close friend and touring DJ Dion Liverpool, who spent the past six years meticulously following “blueprints” left behind by the late rapper in the form of music on hard drives and instructions he left via emails and letters. Their years of close collaboration allowed Liverpool to make executive decisions on samples and features as if the album were his own. It’s clear that Phife Dawg had completed a large chunk of the project before his death. His music, combined with Liverpool’s unhurried, conscientious choices, makes Forever a worthy and proper send-off for a hip-hop pioneer gone much too soon.Upcoming concerts
Bright Eyes will play at Roadrunner, 89 Guest St., Allston, Thursday, April 7, at 7:30 pm. Purchase tickets, from $45, here.
The story of Bright Eyes began almost three decades ago with lead singer Conor Oberst, then just 14, who used the alias for his experimental solo songs. Eventually, Bright Eyes came to be a trio, Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Nate Walcott, who together have amassed an impressive discography of 10 studio albums. The three are set to perform at Boston’s new live music venue Roadrunner in partnership with Plus1, a nonprofit that assists artists to raise funds for, and draw attention to, social and environmental justice initiatives. The band has pledged to donate $1 from every ticket sold on tour to the Downtown Women’s Center, a homeless shelter for women in Los Angeles.
Tennyson performs at Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave., Allston, Thursday, April 14, at 7 pm; age 18+ only. Purchase tickets, from $20, here.
Rotimi will be at Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave., Allston, Tuesday, April 19, at 7 pm; age 18+ only. Purchase tickets, from $20, here.
Rotimi is a new face on the music scene, but make no mistake, he is no stranger to the world of fame. He’s best known as an actor, with roles as Andrew Coleman and Darius Morrison on the Starz shows Power and Boss. His aspirations of exploring the R&B genre include two 2011 mixtapes, The Resume and While You Wait, and opening for stars such as Jennifer Hudson and Estelle. But that changed after he was recognized by rap legend 50 Cent, who signed him to his label, G-Unit Records. Rotimi released his debut album, All or Nothing, in 2023, and is embarking on a tour to promote the project. The first stop? Boston on April 19.
Porches performs at the Paradise Rock Club, 967 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Thursday, April 21, at 7 pm; ages 18+ only. Purchase tickets, from $18, here.
This five-member band is the musical brainchild of frontman Aaron Maine. The other members are Seiya Jewell, Maya Lane, Dan English, and Noah Hecht. Their 2024 album Pools, earned a place on Pitchfork’s 2024 “Best New Music” list, albums that the critics deem to mark the best of the current moment. Maine’s latest project, 2023’s All Day Gentle Hold! was met with the publication’s enthusiasm, garnering well-earned praise: “Maine is having more fun, writing more playfully, staying out of his own head, keeping things simple… These are some of Maine’s most generous and indelible songs, so much so that the album’s 25 minutes feel too brief.” Discover for yourself what makes the band so good, when the group plays the Paradise Rock Club in April.
Nothing, nowhere performs at the Paradise Rock Club, 967 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Sunday, April 24, at 6 pm. Purchase tickets, from $26, here.
Nothing, nowhere fans may be true embracers of the “Mom! It was never a phase, it’s a lifestyle!” joke, signifier of the punk community. Joseph Edward Mulherin, born in Foxborough, Mass., found his musical footing after he started releasing his music on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. That eventually led to the 2023 release of REAPER, his second studio album, which earned an enthusiastic review from New York Times pop critic Jon Caramanica, who commended Mulherin’s dexterity at blending hip-hop and emo to make a new genre of pop, “bridging the chasm between rap and rock.” Caramanica later named the album his favorite of the year. You can catch nothing, nowhere at the Paradise Rock Club next month.
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Microsoft is now rolling out Windows 10 build 18317 for devices enrolled in the Fast ring of the Windows Insider Program. This is the nineteenth preview releasing as part of the 19H1 development expected to release in March/April time frame.
Windows 10 build 18317 is a minor update, and according to the company, breaks Cortana and Search into two features. The Start menu has now its own process. You can now install new fonts quickly using drag and drop. The Windows Insider Program settings page gets updated. The Windows Console gets a lot of improvements, and more.
Here are all the features and changes coming to the next version of Windows 10:Start menu
Begin with build 18317, the Start menu will appear on its own separate process named: chúng tôi . According to the company, this change will simplify debugging and insulating Start from potential issues impacting other surfaces.Cortana and Search
Although we’ve seen this in previous releases, starting with Windows 10 build 18317, Microsoft is breaking Cortana and Search into two separate experiences in the taskbar.
In addition, in the Settings app, you’ll now find two pages, one to control the Cortana settings and another page to configure the search experience.Fonts
While you’ve always been able to install fonts from a file, begin with version 1903 preview, you’ll find an updated Fonts settings page with an area where you can simply drag and drop font files to install them.Windows Insider Program
This flight also includes a new simplified Windows Insider Program page in the Settings app, which aims to remove clutter and move elements around to make it easier to understand and configure.Windows Console
The Windows Console is also getting a few improvements with build 18317, including:
Corrected sizing issues for Linux alt-buffer apps (for example, vim, emacs, etc.) resulting in more reliable resizing.
Made ConPTY flush its output buffer before terminating ensuring apps receive all input and display correct output.
When running Tmux, correctly restore state after Windows key + D, resulting in Tmux’s last line of text rendering correctly.
If using raster fonts, Console now correctly preserves the user’s font after running .NET Core code (which defaults to UTF-8 codepage 65001)
Correct how Console scrolls text region, fixing how text is rendered in Linux’ `screen`
Significantly improved performance of ConPTY – perf now very close to “raw pipe”Additional improvements
Alongside the features and changes, Windows 10 build 18317 includes a few other smaller changes.
For example, starting with this flight, when Scan Mode is on and Narrator is on a slider, the left and right arrows will decrease and increase the slider. Up and down arrows will continue to navigate to the previous or next paragraph or item. Home and End will move the slider to the beginning or the end.
Also, the Narrator list of headings command now works as expected in Chrome, and Narrator now features better support for Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft is listing the complete set of improvements, fixes, and known issues for Windows 10 Insider Preview build 18317 at the Windows Blog.Download Windows 10 build 18317
Warning: Although the data loss-related issue has been fixed, it’s not recommended to install pre-releases of Windows 10 on your primary machine. If you’re planning to test this build, make sure to create a backup of your files before proceeding.
You can also check out these resources:
Editor’s Note: SEJ founder Loren Baker also contributed to this post.
Today, Google launched its long-awaited mobile-friendly algorithm update worldwide, which is estimated to affect a large % of mobile search queries. As more people use their smartphones to browse the internet, this update was made in an effort to provide users with the most relevant and timely results, whether the information is on mobile-friendly web pages or in a mobile app.
Today’s update is historical in a number of ways — in fact, it was making history well before it even launched. In an unprecedented move, Google issued a formal warning about this algorithm update last month, giving site owners time to make the necessary changes to their sites before the algorithm went live.A Timeline of Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update
November 2014 Last November, Google took its first step towards improving the way it delivers mobile-friendly search results to users. At that time, Google introduced the line of text we’re now all very familiar with, the “mobile-friendly” label that appears in snippets of certain sites. In order to determine if your site was truly mobile-friendly in Google’s eyes, the search giant also introduced its own mobile friendly testing tool which assesses your site against a set of criteria.
Now here’s where it gets interesting. When Google announced this tool, a hint was dropped about today’s algorithm update. Google stated: “We are also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal.” At the time, no one could have predicted quickly it would become a ranking signal.
January 2024 With the Mobile Usability component introduced in October, Google used Webmaster Tools to determine which sites weren’t mobile friendly and began sending warnings to owners of those sites. The warnings read as follows:
“Google systems have tested [X amount of] pages from your site and found that 100% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these [X amount of] pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. The pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smart phone users.”
Google was not-so-subtly trying to say that non-mobile friendly sites would end up being demoted in mobile search results. This was when things started getting serious.
February 2024 Those who didn’t heed Google’s warning in January were reminded once again in February — this time with a firm deadline as to when to get their sites in order. At the end of February, Google dropped the major announcement that as of April 21st, the search giant will be extending the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal throughout mobile search results.
Google was careful to warn everyone that this update was not to be taken lightly. The announcement stated: “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”
April 2024 For many SEOs the clock has been ticking down to today, April 21st, when the update finally went live. Now that the day is here, let’s recap what we know about this monumental update.What We Know About Today’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update
Understandably, site owners are full of questions about today’s update. We wish we had all the answers for you, but with any algorithm update we won’t learn all there is to know until it has been live for a while. Here’s everything we know at this point:It is Bigger than Panda or Penguin
It was revealed at SMX Munich last month that the mobile-friendly update would be bigger than either Panda (affecting 12% of queries) or Penguin (affecting 3% of queries).It Will Only Affect The 10 Blue Links
Google recently confirmed that only the 10 blue links will be affected by today’s update. Google News, the Google Local pack, Google Image search, and other Google search properties will not be affected.How to be in Compliance
How do you comply with today’s update? The simple answer to this is: run your site through Google’s mobile-friendly test and fix all the errors.News From Google
Affects only search rankings on mobile devices
Affects search results in all languages globally
Applies to individual pages, not entire websites
While the mobile-friendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query. However, just saying that on its own isn’t very useful. That’s why we created the small business owner’s guide to the mobile-friendly update, which features everything you need to know in order to comply with today’s update and continue driving organic mobile traffic.
Google has also come out with a very resourceful FAQ in the Google Product Forums about Mobile Friendliness and today’s update.Looking Forward
With the update now live, there is conversation happening on Twitter about #MobileGeddon ranking changes but it does appear that the rollout is slower than originally anticipated. Also, it looks like Google may have rolled out some other algo changes along with the mobile update; something they typically do from time to time. Dr. Pete from Moz
No major changes this morning – low-moderate flux, “Mobile-friendly” URLs up only a tiny bit to 70.5% (probably last-minute changes). — Dr. Pete Meyers (@dr_pete) April 21, 2024
Across 30,000 keywords, we are seeing a 1% shift in mobile friendly results #mobilegeddon — rjonesx (@rjonesx) April 21, 2024
Good Advice from Annie Cushing on Testing Across Multiple Devices
ok, call me crazy, but I’m seeing some significant movement for some sites – and I don’t think it’s the mobile thing… — Rae Hoffman (@sugarrae) April 21, 2024
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