Facebook teams up with state health departments to share more vaccine information – CNET

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Shelby Brown/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Facebook is working with state health departments to connect people with vaccination and eligibility information. In a blog post Monday, the social media site said that between January and March, over 3 million people in the US clicked through COVID-19related promotions and the information center, which redirects them to state health websites and local providers.

Once a state opens COVID-19 vaccines to the general public, Facebook says it will show a notification for state residents that connects them with their state health department or Facebook's Vaccine Finder. So far, these notifications are showing up in Alaska, Mississippi, Texas and Utah. 

"Our strategy to work closely with state governments is critical in order to ensure that our features are directing people to local resources as they are available and not drive demand too soon that would overwhelm systems," Facebook said in the post. 

The social media site previously used this notification tool during the US 2020 presidential election to help people find accurate voter information.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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iPhone wallpaper need a refresh? These are the 5 best sites to find free options – CNET

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Angela Lang/CNET

We spend so much time looking at our cell phone screens these days, it's no wonder it's become so popular to make your iPhone "aesthetic" in iOS 14. Changing your iPhone wallpaper is one of the easiest ways to spruce up your phone and inject some personality into it. And, as silly as it might sound, giving your iPhone a makeover with some new wallpaper (live wallpaper or static), is a small but not insignificant way to get a virtual refresh, akin to that post-spring cleaning feeling.

A phone background could feature cute animals, lovely sunsets, a goofy meme, something related to your favorite fandom and everything in between. You might even liken setting your phone's wallpaper as the photo of a loved one to keeping their photo in a locket or wallet. 

If you're bored of your iPhone's stock images, here are five places to find some new backgrounds for your phone, and how to change your wallpaper in the first place.

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How to change your wallpaper 

Changing your iPhone's wallpaper is pretty easy and there's more than one way to do it. 

1. Go to Settings on your iPhone.

2. Tap Wallpaper.

3. Tap Choose New Wallpaper.

4. Choose an image. Newer iPhones include stock wallpaper that moves as well as regular still Dynamic, Stills, Live or one of your photos. New stock wallpaper often comes with OS updates. 

5. Once you choose an image, you can adjust it to fit the screen how you like.

6. You can choose where you want the wallpaper to appear as well -- home screen only, lock screen only or both. 

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The iPhone 12 Pro Max has the largest display on an iPhone to date. It also has a revamped camera system.

Patrick Holland/CNET

You can also change your wallpaper directly in the Photos app.

1. Select the image you want from a folder or your camera roll.
2. Tap the share button in the bottom left.
3. Scroll down and choose Use as Wallpaper.
4. Once you choose an image, you can adjust it to fit the screen how you like.
5. You can choose where you want the wallpaper to appear as well -- home screen only, lock screen only or both. 

If you're looking for something new, here are five sites to help you find the perfect iPhone wallpaper for any mood or occasion. 

Read more: iPhone 13 rumors so far: Release date, specs, price and everything else we're hearing

1. Pexels

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A look at one of the stunning free iPhone wallpaper options on Pexels.

Pexels

The Pexels website has over 1,000 free iPhone backgrounds, and more are added every day. You can scroll for ages through landscapes, fruit, surreal art, cityscapes and more. Simply search iPhone wallpaper on the site and apply any filters you'd like -- orientations, sizes and color schemes. It's free to download images, but if you want to favorite or collect images on the site, you'll need to create a free account.

When you find an image you like, tap it to view it closer and select Free Download. Pexels will download it directly to your phone -- choose Files, and the image should be in Recent. If you like the photographer, Pexel will also provide their Twitter and Instagram information.

Read more: The best ways to sell or trade in your old iPhone for 2021

2. Pixabay

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Wallpaper example from Pixabay contributor Candid_Shots.

Candid_Shots/Pixabay

Pixabay is another option for iPhone wallpaper. Similar to Pexels, simply search iPhone wallpaper in Pixabay to find a background you like. You can also filter photos, vector graphics, illustrations and more. Once you find an image, tap Free Download and choose the dimensions that best fit your phone. 

You can make a free account on the site to favorite images, but it's not mandatory to download an image. Again, the image should go straight to Files in the Recent folder. Pixabay has a social media feel, and you can check out the photographer's page to send them a message or follow them. 

3. Unsplash

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Wallpaper example from Unsplash contributor Zetong Li.

Zetong Li/Unsplash

Similarly to Pixabay and Pexels, Unsplash has thousands of free images to search for the perfect iPhone wallpaper. The site has an Instagram-like feel where you can follow the photographers and artists, as well as like and collect images. Its more social features like collecting, favoriting and following artists require that you make an account. 

Once you find an image you like, just tap Download and you'll find the image in your Recent folder. 

4. Pinterest

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You can find endless images to use as your phone background on Pinterest. 

Screenshot by Katie Conner/CNET

Pinterest is one of my favorite places to find phone wallpaper that matches my personality. It's not difficult to become familiar (or obsessed!) with the photo-sharing site. Simply download the free app and make an account -- also free. 

Search any image you like -- or more specifically iPhone wallpaper -- and tap to open it. You'll see a Read It button (opens corresponding articles that the image appears in) and Save (which lets you "pin" the image to a board.) Tap the three-dot Settings button for more options and choose Download Image. 

If you'd rather not commit to the app, you can open Pinterest in your mobile browser. You can search Pinterest images in Google. Tap on the image from there, tap the three-dot Settings button for more options and choose Download Image. 

5. Tumblr

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Tumblr is still a safe space for many internet users as well as an easy place to find iPhone wallpaper.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Remember the blogging site Tumblr? It's still out there and is a fun place to find new wallpaper for your phone. You'll need an account to explore the app to the fullest, but like Pinterest, you can search images from Tumblr through Google. To save a photo -- in the app or through a Google search -- tap the photo and then long-press. You'll be able to find the new image in your Camera Roll. For dedicated wallpaper, you can search "iPhone Wallpaper." 

For more, check out the five best emoji keyboards for Android and iOS and everything we know so far about iOS 15.

Rad more: Best iPhone 2021: Apple currently sells 7 different models. Here's how to pick one

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Apple TV Plus wildlife documentary narrated by David Attenborough coming in April – CNET

iPhone app: Apple TV+

A new nature documentary is coming to Apple TV Plus.

Sarah Tew/CNET

To celebrate Earth Day 2021, Apple TV Plus plans to air a new wildlife documentary about the resilience of nature during the pandemic. Titled The Year the Earth Changed, the documentary is narrated by David Attenborough. The Year the Earth Changed is set to premiere on April 16 in over 100 countries.

"During this most difficult year, many people have reappraised the value and beauty of the natural world and taken great comfort from it," Attenborough said in a release Monday. "But the lockdown also created a unique experiment that has thrown light on the impact we have on the natural world. The stories of how wildlife responded have shown that making even small changes to what we do can make a big difference."

Read more: The coronavirus pandemic explained, one year on

Check out the trailer here: 

The Year the Earth Changed will feature footage from around the world spotlighting how humans and wildlife's relationship improved in 2020. When most of the world went into lockdowns and quarantines, birds sang in deserted cities, whales began communicating in new ways and capybaras paid special visits to South American suburbs. 

Apple TV Plus is available on the Apple TV app and costs $5 a month after the seven-day free trial. In addition, if you recently purchased a new Apple device, you can qualify for a free year of the service. 

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Apple TV Plus wildlife documentary narrated by David Attenborough coming in April – CNET

iPhone app: Apple TV+

A new nature documentary is coming to Apple TV Plus.

Sarah Tew/CNET

To celebrate Earth Day 2021, Apple TV Plus plans to air a new wildlife documentary about the resilience of nature during the pandemic. Titled The Year the Earth Changed, the documentary is narrated by David Attenborough. The Year the Earth Changed is set to premiere on April 16 in over 100 countries.

"During this most difficult year, many people have reappraised the value and beauty of the natural world and taken great comfort from it," Attenborough said in a release Monday. "But the lockdown also created a unique experiment that has thrown light on the impact we have on the natural world. The stories of how wildlife responded have shown that making even small changes to what we do can make a big difference."

Read more: The coronavirus pandemic explained, one year on

Check out the trailer here: 

The Year the Earth Changed will feature footage from around the world spotlighting how humans and wildlife's relationship improved in 2020. When most of the world went into lockdowns and quarantines, birds sang in deserted cities, whales began communicating in new ways and capybaras paid special visits to South American suburbs. 

Apple TV Plus is available on the Apple TV app and costs $5 a month after the seven-day free trial. In addition, if you recently purchased a new Apple device, you can qualify for a free year of the service. 

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iPhone 13 aiming for late September launch, report says – CNET

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The iPhone 13 could reportedly arrive this year. 

Apple's new iPhone 13 is on track for a September launch, according to supply chain information obtained by MacRumors. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told MacRumors that the iPhone 13 models are slotted for the third week of the month, but that the date could get pushed to early October.

"We have gotten more detailed reads from our supply chain checks for iPhone 13 builds with this next iPhone launch coming out of Cupertino in the late September timeframe," Ives said in a research note obtained by MacRumors.

Read more: iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 12: Rumored features, cameras and more compared

CNET reached out to Apple and we'll update when we hear back.

September is more or less the month we usually expect an Apple event -- even though COVID-19 caused some release reshuffling last year -- and rumors around the new phones have been ramping up this month. 

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iPhone 13 aiming for late September launch, report says – CNET

iphone-13-rumors-touch-id-is-back-lightning-port-is-out-mp4-00-00-38-06-still001.png

The iPhone 13 could reportedly arrive this year. 

Apple's new iPhone 13 is on track for a September launch, according to supply chain information obtained by MacRumors. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told MacRumors that the iPhone 13 models are slotted for the third week of the month, but that the date could get pushed to early October.

"We have gotten more detailed reads from our supply chain checks for iPhone 13 builds with this next iPhone launch coming out of Cupertino in the late September timeframe," Ives said in a research note obtained by MacRumors.

Read more: iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 12: Rumored features, cameras and more compared

CNET reached out to Apple and we'll update when we hear back.

September is more or less the month we usually expect an Apple event -- even though COVID-19 caused some release reshuffling last year -- and rumors around the new phones have been ramping up this month. 

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Cozy Grove on Apple Arcade: Animal Crossing but make it haunted – CNET

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Cozy Grove is like Animal Crossing's quirky, chill cousin and I'm here for it. 

Apple

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was a comfort blanket for many at the onset of the pandemic. Players took solace in simple tasks like fishing, catching bugs and visiting each other's islands. While I didn't jump on the bandwagon and invest in a Nintendo Switch, I did check the "lite" version of Animal Crossing, the mobile app Pocket Camp. While it was fun and relaxing, I eventually quit checking in. 

If you didn't find your fit with Animal Crossing, there's a quirky new simulation game for you to try: Cozy Grove from Spry Fox, available on Apple's gaming service, Apple Arcade. In the game, you're a Spirit Scout tasked with bringing peace to the adorably haunted island of Cozy Grove. Explore the island, collect resources and craft items to survive, tend your fire -- Flamey -- and try to help the sad forest ghosts. The more you help, the more the island heals -- the environment becomes colorized and flowers grow.

"Cozy Grove gives you something delightful to look forward to every day," David Edery, co-founder of Spry Fox told CNET. "It becomes a happy ritual that you constantly look forward to --which is helpful when so many of our other daily rituals have been disrupted by the pandemic."

While Animal Crossing is the essential "cozy game," according to Edery, the team wanted to make something players didn't have to binge and can take a way a full experience from with just half an hour logged.

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My little Spirit Scout avatar chatting it up with a ghost bear. What a dream. 

Shelby Brown/CNET

Read more: 8 games coming soon to Apple Arcade

When you arrive at Cozy Grove, you'll customize your Spirit Scout avatar. Make your way to your campsite and have a quick chat with your campfire -- yes, you read that right. Flamey, your campfire, will direct you to meet Ranger Charlotte Pine -- a bear spirit -- who'll give you more information about the island and how you can help. Mr. Kit's Cateen will never be far away either so you can buy and sell items with the coins you collect around the island. And, no, you won't fall into a chasm of debt (I see you Tom Nook).

You'll gather Spirit Wood for your fire, to help Flamey cast its light farther to find more spirits in need. As you complete tasks and meet more spirits, you'll earn badges like a real-life scout. There are dozens of badges and levels to achieve for endurance, animal care, crafting and more. 

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After I talked to Ranger Pine, the surrounding area was colorized. 

Shelby Brown/CNET

"Cozy Grove is intended to bring you joy by telling a fun story about helping lost souls over a period of many months," Edery said. "We hope you like it!" 

Cozy Grove hits a sweet spot for gamers -- there's a bit more direction and story than Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, but it's less demanding than New Horizons. There's a lot to do in the game as well, including relationship-based quests, decorating your campsite, and stories of the island's ghostly inhabitants to unravel. It's an easy game to pick up, but hard to put down. 

Almost every week, Apple Arcade releases and announces new games and updates older titles for the $5-a-month service. Gamers can play almost 150 games across the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV

Plus, you can get a three-month free trial of Apple Arcade with the purchase of a new iOS device. Even if you don't buy a new phone, if you're signing up for Apple Arcade for the first time, you get a one-month free trial. To try the service out, open the App Store and tap the little joystick icon at the bottom of the screen.

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Google says it’s blocked more than 99 million phony COVID-related ads – CNET

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The material ranged from pitches for fake N95 masks to info on bogus miracle cures, according to a new report from Google.
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Streaming, shopping and delivery: Why COVID may have changed our habits forever – CNET

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About a year ago, life as we knew it changed when the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the US.

Giuseppe Manfra/Getty Images
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

A year of the pandemic has made grocery delivery and pickup services the new normal for Morgan Haynes, a life claims analyst from Elizabethtown, Kentucky. 

"I haven't shopped in a store in months," Haynes said. And she's far from the only one. 

COVID-19 turned everyday life upside down over the past year, bringing with it quarantines and lockdowns, social distancing, remote work, travel restrictions, shuttered businesses and mask mandates. To combat the virus, more people started staying home, as almost every outing was canceled or limited -- from mundane shopping trips to eating in restaurants to seeing movies in theaters. As a result, services like grocery and restaurant delivery, online shopping memberships and TV and movie streaming services have surged in popularity. 

Services like these may have flourished in the pandemic, but they could become our new way of life -- even in a post-vaccine world.

Groceries, takeout and streaming, oh my

For many, venturing out to stores became a source of panic, uncertainty and stress at the onset of the pandemic -- especially with no guarantee that the items you'd need would be in stock. Signing up with a store's app to use grocery delivery and pickup saw a big spike during the pandemic. As a result, Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, Instacart and others upped their pickup and delivery service game, seeking to help shoppers get necessary items as safely as possible. 

In July, data analytics company Inmar Intelligence studied more than 300 people and their habits during the pandemic, and spotted significant changes in shopping behavior. Since last March, 79% of the polled participants said they now shop for groceries online, compared with 57% before the pandemic.

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Many have chosen to forgo grocery stores and subscribe to delivery services instead.

Sarah Tew/CNET

In addition, 33% of shoppers reported having groceries delivered, 29% are using grocery pickup and 7% are having groceries shipped to their homes. Amid the pandemic, 12% of shoppers tried out grocery delivery or grocery shipments for the first time. 

Alcohol delivery services like Drizley also saw a massive spike in the early months COVID-19's spread. The same was true of food delivery apps that provided a safe way for people to order takeout from their favorite restaurants that may have closed their doors to indoor dining. Revenue for the top four delivery apps -- DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub and Postmates -- rose by $3 billion in the second and third quarters of 2020. Despite the high fees levied on restaurants by the apps -- typically between 15% and 30% of the total order price -- many restaurants still take part to access their millions of users. 

As COVID-19 shuttered movie theaters and productions, Hollywood sometimes turned to streaming services to release new films. Big-budget movies including the filmed version of Broadway smash Hamilton and the live-action remake of Mulan hit Disney Plus, the latter with an additional rental fee. The Oscar-nominated Nomadland premiered on Hulu, and HBO Max will release Warner Bros. movies on the platform the same day as theaters for 2021, including major titles like Dune and The Matrix 4.

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With movie theaters closed, streaming services stepped into the gap.

Sarah Tew/CNET

"For many, the only escape found [during the pandemic] was TV," said Aaron Annas, director of television and film arts at Buffalo State College. "For those with internet access, subscribing to streaming content immediately opened the door to new entertainment options that could be experienced in quarantine and discussed socially through social media and video conferencing.  What we were streaming became our common language." 

Indeed, by August 2020, streaming videos accounted for a quarter of total TV viewing time, according to Nielsen data. The weekly time spent streaming content clocked in at 142.5 billion minutes -- a 75% increase from 2019. As of September, 25% of adults had added a streaming video service in the three months prior, according to another Nielsen survey. Only 2% of adults said they had gotten rid of any paid subscription services.

"We preorder movies now," said Elisabeth Andrade, a Tennessee resident. "Even if they're showing a movie at the theater, we will pay the crazy amount to rent it and watch it at home. Not because of COVID, but with kids it just makes sense. Everyone can be comfortable and they can talk and play without disturbing anyone."

Will we ever return to stores, restaurants and movies?

People are no longer casually engaging with services like grocery delivery and streaming movies at home -- due to the pandemic, they're all in, said Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia Business School. 

"I don't think we're going to revert back to what we were doing a year and a half ago," Cohen said. "The changes we're living with are going to be lasting. Retail was in a consequential disruption before the pandemic. The pandemic has caused an incredible step up for that disruption to continue."

While people will likely return to supermarkets, they may stick to Amazon and other online retailers for other shopping, Cohen said, "now that they've discovered they [can shop] with a couple of keystrokes and it's on their doorstep in a couple hours." 

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Food delivery apps also came in handy with many restaurants shuttered as well.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The media landscape might also be entirely changed, especially for the 18- to 21-year-old age bracket, Annas said. This age group is almost completely disinterested in cable, he added.

"They are subscribing to streaming platforms based on what their circle likes to consume," Annas said. "This isn't something I expect them to grow out of.  I believe the current generation stepping into adulthood will have streaming media replace traditional cable."

Once COVID-19 is contained -- when it's similar to catching the common cold perhaps -- the freedom of so many alternatives for shopping, ordering and streaming won't be easily abandoned by consumers, Cohen said. On top of more options online, there's also the ease of accessing those options from the comfort of home -- even with the desire to get out of the house.

At that point, people will likely start to reevaluate the services they've used over the past year, to figure out which subscriptions they really enjoyed and want to keep, versus which make sense in the present. For example, clothing subscription boxes like Stitch Fix might suffer if people continue working from home in more casual clothes, Cohen said. 

Haynes, who hasn't been in a store in months, isn't eager to return. 

"I'll likely go out to stores I enjoy browsing in, but I doubt I'll go back regular grocery shopping. It's just too convenient," she said. "At the end of the day, I'll pay a little more to have it delivered so I can spend some extra time with my daughter at home than spend 2 hours at the grocery store, shopping."

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Hitchhiker, a road trip into your own mysterious past, is cruising into Apple Arcade soon – CNET

hitchhiker3

Piece together your past in Hitchhiker.

Apple

Hitchhiker -- a new mystery game from Versus Evil and Mad About Pandas -- is coming soon to Apple Arcade. In the game, you play as a hitchhiker with no memory of your past or your destination. By catching rides with five strangers across a landscape of rolling hills, you must try and figure out who you are as well as find a mysterious missing friend. 

You'll ride shotgun with a raisin farmer waxing poetic about the infallibility of memory, for example, or chat with an off-duty waitress in a diner -- everyone has a story to tell, but not everything is what it seems. Search the vehicles for clues and choose your words carefully to bring hidden parts of your identity to light -- and prepare for the dangers ahead. The longer you're on the road, the more your grasp on reality loosens.

Read more9 games coming soon to Apple Arcade

Check out the trailer here:

Hitchhiker was announced for Apple Arcade when the service was released in 2019. It's the third game to join Apple Arcade from Versus Evil, following RPGs Yaga and Cardpocalypse. There's no official release date yet, but Hitchhiker will also be available on Steam, PS4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One.

Apple Arcade costs $5 a month and lets you play 150 new and exclusive games across the iPhoneiPad, Mac, iPod Touch and Apple TV. Buy one of Apple's iPhone 12 devices and you'll get a three-month free trial of Apple Arcade. Even if you don't buy a new phone, if you're signing up for Apple Arcade for the first time, you get a one-month free trial. To try the service out, open the App Store and tap the little joystick icon at the bottom of the screen.

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