The Morning After: Tuesday, May 16th 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Squeezable smartphones, perhaps our first look at the glass-backed, iPhone 8 (don’t worry, unrelated), and the death of the graphing calculator? All this, and we’re only on Tuesday morning. Oh, and Toyota is musing on flying cars.


But can it play Drug Wars?Desmos app could kill off the graphing calculator

Overpaying for graphing calculators has been a rite of passage for as long as any millennials can remember, but the reign of the TI-84 may be coming to an end. That’s because of a new online calculator called Desmos that can run on any connected device and provide similar features. There are other internet-based calculators, but this one is embedded in the test itself and has backing from SAT administrator The College Board.


Squeezy phone.HTC’s squeezable U11 is its true 2017 flagship phone

After releasing the U Ultra, HTC is again attempting a top of the line smartphone with the U11. The specs behind its 5.5-inch curved Gorilla Glass display are just on par with other flagship devices, but the standout gimmick here is Edge Sense. Side-mounted pressure sensors can detect varying levels of grip and respond with associated shortcuts or app actions. Also, it can run up to three virtual assistants at once, with support for Google Assistant, Alexa and HTC’s own Sense Assistant. Finally, it loses the headphone jack but includes USB-C connected headphones that handle customized audio, as well as noise-canceling that runs off of the phone’s battery.


It’s the Shazam of foodThe ridiculous Not Hotdog app from ‘Silicon Valley’ is real

These days it’s even more difficult to tell parody apps from the real ones.


Android in autoVolvo and Audi are building Android into their new cars

Ahead of the Google I/O event later this week, Volvo and Audi have announced plans to base their next-generation infotainment systems on Android. There aren’t a lot of details yet, but the partnership promises support for Google Assistant, Google Maps and Android apps like Spotify running directly on the car’s hardware without requiring an Android Auto hand-holding from your phone.


ExclusiveiPhone 8 renders point to glass back and wireless charging

A reliable source in the accessory industry has told us that these renders represent Apple’s iPhone 8. If they hold up, they point to a new vertical orientation for the dual-camera setup, with the microphone and flash integrated into the camera hump. They also suggest that the dual-camera and wireless charging will be a standard feature, but we’ll have to wait until this fall to find out for sure — and to see the rumored tenth anniversary iPhone.


Meet the ‘Skydrive’Toyota wants flying cars in time for the 2020 Olympics

Larry Page isn’t the only one with a thing for flying cars — Toyota is backing a small startup working on a drone-like vehicle. The Skydrive from Cartivator would lift about 33 feet off of the ground and scoot along at up to 62mph. The plan is to have commercial versions ready ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. That seems optimistic, but it could provide one more reason to snag a ticket now instead of waiting.

But wait, there’s more…

  • Implanted pancreatic cells could cure diabetes
  • Plenty of blame to go around: The ‘WannaCry’ ransomware is a stark reminder of a broken system
  • What’s on TV this week: ‘Phantom Dust’ remastered, ‘Twin Peaks,’ ‘Kimmy Schmidt’ and ‘Injustice 2’
  • United flight crew inadvertently shares cockpit door codes online
  • Engadget Podcast Ep 39: Rip Off
  • Motorola’s leaked 2017 phone lineup points to the return of the Moto X

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The Morning After: Wednesday, May 3rd 2017

Microsoft has announced a new laptop, in addition to a new lighter OS aimed at education (and Chrome OS), all in the middle of the week. YouTube also got a makeover, and we take a look at the most notable VR submissions at this year’s Tribeca festival.


There aren’t any special hinges or kickstands this time.
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop is built to beat Apple’s MacBooks

Microsoft has always tried to do something different with its hardware. The Surface and Surface Pro helped popularize the idea of hybrid laptops that could also be used as tablets. The Surface Book took that idea a step further with a bigger screen, a unique hinge and more powerful hardware. But with the Surface Laptop, it’s almost as if Microsoft is going back to basics. It’s basically a straightforward notebook, albeit one with the Microsoft’s slick Surface aesthetic. Most importantly, it’s the flagship device for Windows 10 S, Microsoft’s new streamlined OS targeted at the education market. Similar to ChromeOS, it’s meant mainly for web apps and software from the Microsoft Store, with an emphasis on security and battery life. The Surface Laptop launches on June 15th starting at $ 999 for the Core i5 model.


Eye-catching mouse design is back.
Microsoft’s lie-flat Surface Arc mouse is a new take on an old formula

The Surface Arc Mouse is an evolution of the well-established Arc Touch Mouse . While the new Bluetooth peripheral still has that eye-catching, travel-friendly design that snaps flat for stowing in your bag, there aren’t any distinct left and right buttons, or even a scroll strip. Instead, a touch-sensitive button handles all of that.


It trades app support in the name of security and performance.
Microsoft takes on Chrome OS with Windows 10 S

Microsoft has already taken some potshots at Google’s Chromebooks in the past — Windows 8.1 with Bing, anyone? Now, though, it’s going for the jugular. The newly introduced Windows 10 S (not Cloud like the rumors suggested) is a stripped-back, education-oriented version of the operating system that gives up some app support in the name of simplicity and performance. You can only run Windows Store apps (including Office 365 apps, which are coming soon), but that’s the point — schools don’t have to worry about the vulnerabilities that come with running any old Windows app. All in time for a big Minecraft Education Edition upgrade.


And we’re finally getting a “dark mode.”
YouTube’s latest redesign puts added focus on videos

Approximately 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Soon, its desktop website will be getting a makeover to make combing through all those cute cat clips a bit easier. Google is refreshing the look of its desktop site by applying its material design aesthetic to the site, basically flattening the UI. “We want to make content the star,” Fred Gilbert, Head of User Experience at YouTube, said during a recent interview. “Everything else should recede from that.”


But the Mac is up again!
iPhone sales continue their slow and steady slide

Apple couldn’t quite keep iPhone sales growing for the second quarter in a row. The company sold 50.8 million iPhones in the last quarter, down a scant one percent from the 51.2 million it sold a year ago. It’s worth remembering that last year marked the first quarter where iPhone sales didn’t grow year-over-year, so this decline isn’t exactly a surprise. Meanwhile, in the “other products” business, which includes the Apple Watch and Apple TV, revenue jumped a whopping 31 percent. Perhaps Apple’s wearable is doing better than people give it credit for. Indeed, Cook said on Apple’s earnings call that Watch sales nearly doubled year-over-year in the last quarter.


Chet Faliszek, who also worked on Steam VR, has left.
Valve has no more ‘Half-Life’ writers left

Chet Faliszek and Erik Wolpaw, co-writers on Half-Life 2: Episode One and Episode Two, stuck around after Half-Life writing lead Marc Laidlaw’s departure from Valve last year. But not for long. Wolpaw departed Valve in February, and Faliszek has now also left the company. Faliszek was also key part of Valve’s push into virtual reality, from the early days of secret testing at the company’s Bellevue headquarters through to the public launch of the HTC Vive.


The Aura H2O can survive your next beach trip.
Kobo’s latest waterproof e-reader is sized for poolside reading

Kobo’s recent Aura One e-reader was potentially the dream device for anyone who likes to read in the bath or at the beach, but it had some catches. It was big, with a 7.8-inch screen, and came with a $ 229 price tag. Enter the just-introduced Aura H2O — just as waterproof, but shrunken down to a 6.8-inch touchscreen, while an accompanying tinier $ 180 price.

But wait, there’s more…

  • Republican Senators outline anti-net neutrality legislation
  • T-Mobile plans to launch a national 5G network by 2020
  • VR is telling deeper, more important stories

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Samsung’s chip business kept things looking up to start 2017

Samsung’s Q1 2017 earnings are in, showing the company’s highest quarterly profit since Q3 2013. That’s despite the Galaxy Note 7 recall, and a markdown in the price of its Galaxy Note 7, apparently because the company’s chip business (making memory, processors and camera sensors for phones) is booming. As a company, it brought home the $ 8.75 billion in operating profit expected, and looks forward to better results next quarter, since it will include sales of the new Galaxy S8 phones.

On a call with reporters, execs reaffirmed that reports of a reddish tint on some S8s are a “natural difference” in the OLED technology that it will let users tweak after a software update. Samsung also mentioned “the launch of a new flagship smartphone in the second half,” but didn’t tag the Galaxy Note name to whatever that presumably large-screened device will be. It also did not play into any expectations for an OLED iPhone that it could supply screens for, simply saying that “YoY revenue growth in the OLED business is forecast on the back of increased flexible panel shipments in the second half.”

Source: Samsung

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The Morning After: Friday, April 7th 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

We’ve got a lot to cover, with a curious energy that can only mean it’s finally Friday. There are concrete details on the next Xbox, a new iPad to review, and an AI trying to paid while on “digital LSD”. They know how to party.


But is it too late?Xbox One Project Scorpio specs promise ‘the most powerful console ever’

Last year at E3 Microsoft overshadowed its own Xbox One S by revealing a more powerful version on the way. Now, we have some official hard specs for its Project Scorpio box, which uses a custom GPU and 12GB of RAM to power 4K gaming that even the PS4 Pro can’t pull off. In a demo for Eurogamer, it ran Forza Motorsport at 4K and 60fps without breaking a sweat. Even if you haven’t upgraded to 4K by the time it arrives later this year, Scorpio can run Xbox One games in high-res then downsample them to reduce aliasing on 1080p displays, just like the PS4 Pro does. Expect more information on games (and a price) at E3 in June.


It’s a free video editor that’s social-friendlyApple’s Clips app hits iOS today to make video creation a cinch

Clips, Apple’s new video-editing app, despite its dead-simple interface, is capable of some pretty impressive feats. After recording a video, you load it into a project’s timeline, and load it up with symbols, filters and emoji, and share away. If that sounds simple, well, it is. Mostly. After all, it’s meant to sit in between the pure automation of iOS’ photo memories and the more in-depth work that comes with using mobile iMovie. And sure, you could piece together a similar video project in an app like Instagram or a similar Snapchat store. Clips’ surprisingly handy list of features sets it apart. It almost feels like Apple baked extra bells and whistles into the app to give it a leg up on other social platforms without having to build a social network of its own. It’s available, free, on iOS now.


The My Passport SSD packs USB-C and a reasonable price.Western Digital unveils its first portable SSD

Western Digital only just started accepting that SSDs are ready for the mainstream, but it’s making up for that lost time by launching its first portable SSD just months after unveiling a desktop drive. The simply-named My Passport SSD gives you 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of flash storage in a pocketable and ever-so-slightly fashionable design. While it’s not the absolute fastest drive we’ve seen with a peak 515MB/s sequential read speed (it’s a bit faster than Samsung’s T3), the new drive is definitely keeping up with the Joneses. It’s designed for USB-C (there’s a USB-A adapter in the box), touts 256-bit hardware encryption and is tough enough to survive a 6.5ft drop.


You’d be hard-pressed to find a better tablet at this priceReview: Apple iPad (2017)

Apple’s newest iPad is a budget model that samples the best parts from past hits. We’ve got the original iPad Air’s body stuffed with the iPhone 6s’s A9 chipset and paired with a brighter version of the iPad Air 2’s display. We have no complaints about performance, and battery life is excellent. But, Apple’s compromises are evident in the tablet’s relative thickness and the glare-prone screen. What the iPad lacks in sheer thrills, it more than makes up for with adequate power and a price that’s hard to resist.


Wait, where are you going?Comcast reveals Xfinity Mobile

Now that AT&T, YouTube and others are biting into its TV business, Comcast is attacking in the other direction by launching a wireless service. Called Xfinity Mobile, it’s sort of like Google’s Project Fi because it will use a combination of Comcast hotspots and the Verizon network. If you’re a fan of the bundle, it does offer phone service with unlimited data, voice and text for as low as $ 45 ($ 65 if you only have Comcast’s internet service).


Futurecraft 4DAdidas is ready to make 3D-printed sneakers a mass market item

Adidas revealed its latest shoe with a 3D-printed midsole, the Futurecraft 4D, but that’s not the most interesting part of its announcement. While these shoes will have a very limited release this month, it claims that by using Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis method, it will have 5,000 pairs ready for sale by the holidays. Carbon specializes in printing items from a liquid pool T-1000 style, and Adidas expects this combination will be able to produce 100,000 pairs of shoes by the end of 2018.


It’s like someone spiked your computer’s drink with ‘ASCIID’What AI sees and hears when it watches ‘The Joy of Painting’

Bay Area artist and engineer Alexander Reben has produced an incredible feat of machine learning in honor of the late Ross, creating a mashup video that applies Deep Dream-like algorithms to both the video and audio tracks. The results are… weird.


Who’s behind an account that’s tweeting from inside US immigration officesTwitter sues feds over attempt to identify anti-Trump account

Twitter is suing the government to resist giving up the identity behind @Alt_uscis, an account tweeting out anti-Trump messages. The account is allegedly run by rogue members of US immigration agencies. The suit is a twofold resistance to the government’s disclosure request, opposing both the method and the nature of demanding these particular identities. First, it openly attempts to block the Department of Homeland Security and CBP from “unlawfully abusing a limited-purpose investigatory tool to try to unmask the real identity of one or more persons who have been using Twitter’s social media platform, and specifically a Twitter account named @ALT_USCIS, to express public criticism of the Department and the current Administration.”


These phones are the best ones at this priceReview: Moto G5 and G5 Plus

Another year, another pair of great affordable handsets from Motorola. The smaller, 5-inch Moto G5 offers reliable performance thanks to Android 7.0 Nougat and a surprisingly good 13-megapixel camera. The design is a little uninspiring, and the display is hard to read in direct sunlight, but this little smartphone does everything you need it to for a bargain price


Just LED, no Q or OSamsung takes aim at Vizio with its ‘MU’ line of Ultra HD TVs

While Samsung’s latest QLED tech fights a picture quality battle with LG and OLED, value-conscious buyers will want to look at the MU line of TVs it’s rolling out. Still featuring 4K, HDR and other high-end options, they use standard LED edge lighting to keep the price down, no matter which version you might choose.


The DevLoop in Nevada has been ‘finalized’ ahead of testingHyperloop One’s test route is ready to run

It was August 2013 that Elon Musk, under pressure from Shervin Pishevar, published his white paper on the Hyperloop. Just three years and seven months later, and the world’s first Hyperloop tube has been declared ready for testing. Hyperloop One has announced that DevLoop, its Nevada test facility, has been “finalized,” and will serve as the testbed for the future of transportation.

But wait, there’s more…

  • Explore Japanese gaming culture in 360 degrees with MatPat
  • Zunum Aero’s hybrid-electric planes could halve the cost of US flights
  • Australian regulator sues Apple bricked ‘Error 53′ iPhones’
  • Xbox One now supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X

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Apple iPad review (2017): No alarms and no surprises

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the iPad go from curious experiment to Apple’s vision for the future of computing. But we’ve also seen the tablet market dry up — not even the iPad has been immune to those changes. Still, it’s hard not to look at the new, 2017 iPad as a market mover, a $ 329 machine meant to appeal to newcomers and old-school iPad owners in need of an upgrade. While this iPad is priced for everyone, it’s not meant for everyone. It’s not as slim as older models, and it lacks some of the really neat features that appear in Apple’s Pro line. In other words, the 2017 iPad is a no-nonsense machine. But, it’s a damned good one.

Hardware

No, it’s not just in your head — this iPad feels very, very familiar. It’s as if a designer tore a hole in time itself, reached into the past to grab an original iPad Air and stuck some more up-to-date parts inside. That said, Apple wanted to keep these basic models distinct from more premium iPads, so you won’t find any Smart Connector pins on the iPad’s left side or a laminated display (more on that later).

This presents a fascinating problem for Apple and its loyalists: This iPad effectively replaced 2014’s premium iPad Air 2 as the best full-size, non-Pro tablet in the company’s lineup. That wouldn’t be a problem for some people if the 2017 iPad was as slim and sleek as the Air 2 was, but it’s not. Both pack a 9.7-inch screen running at 2,048×1,536, but the 2017 iPad’s 7.5m waistline is slightly thicker than the Air 2’s, and it’s a little heavier, to boot.

These extra millimeters and grams may be a point of contention for some in the Apple community, and to them I say, “Whatever.” Those minor changes barely registered after the first moments. (And this is coming from a guy who toted around an Air 2 until it died.) This thicker design was palatable once before, and while it’s not as technically impressive as Apple’s more recent iPads, I didn’t notice my hands, arms or wrists getting more fatigued than usual while reading Kindle books for a few hours. And there’s a plus side hidden inside this aluminum frame: Apple went with a 32.9Whr battery, which is much bigger than the Air 2’s and even a little more capacious than the original Air’s. Now, I miss the Air 2’s design as much as anyone else, but it’s nice to see a company — especially Apple — offer up better battery life, even if it comes at the expense of sleekness.

Also inside the new iPad is one of Apple’s A9 chipsets, which we first met in the iPhone 6s. It’s paired with 2GB of RAM and either 32 or 128GB of storage. And no, that’s not a typo: There’s no 64GB option available. As always, you’ll be able to shell out extra ($ 130, in this case) for an LTE-enabled model, which adds a few grams to the iPad’s weight. The new iPad is also home to an 8-megapixel rear camera that takes surprisingly good photos, and there’s something to using such a big screen as a viewfinder. But you’ll still look a little silly doing it, and your phone is probably the better camera anyway.

And then there are the little things. The Touch ID sensor embedded in the home button works as fast as the iPhone 6s’ — which is to say you’ll probably never have trouble with it. Oh, and Apple moved some magnets around, so most original iPad Air cases won’t work correctly with the 2017 model.

Display and sound

The 2017 iPad’s screen runs at the same resolution as the Air 2 and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but there are a few key differences. See, all of the new iPads Apple released in the past three years had optically-laminated displays; that is, the screen was physically bonded to the glass, leaving no gap between them. Not so with this iPad. This saves Apple some money in the manufacturing process but it keeps the iPad from feeling like a seamless window onto the digital world. That said, if you hate the hollow thunking sound that comes with tapping a nonbonded screen, maybe just stay away from this one.

You also won’t find an anti-glare coating on this iPad’s screen, either, likely another cost-saving measure that I wish Apple had reconsidered. The display itself is actually slightly brighter than the Air 2’s (500 nits, compared to the earlier models’ 400), which keep visuals nice and legible in most situations. Things get a little hairier when you take the iPad outside or into a bright room; reflections that seem dull on the iPad Pros are more distracting on this model. For an iPad that’s mostly great, this stands out as one of its most pronounced bummers.

Those compromises, while not ideal, aren’t deal-breakers considering the price. That gap doesn’t matter much when you’re looking at the iPad dead-on, where colors are bright and vivid. Viewing angles are still quite good, so (assuming you dodge those reflections) you won’t have trouble sharing videos with the people sitting next to you.

The sound, meanwhile, hasn’t changed much since the days of the Air 2. There’s a single row of speaker holes drilled into the iPad’s bottom, and the output gets plenty loud without distortion. You’ll miss out on some bass relying on these built-in speakers, obviously. But, thankfully, Apple isn’t taking a stand here — there’s still a headphone jack, so you can plug in your go-to cans.

Performance and software

While we’ve tested some faster iPads, make no mistake: Cheap or not, the 2017 model is a big step up from most earlier models. That’s all thanks to the included dual-core A9 chipset (clocked at 1.85GHz, or so Geekbench says) and 2GB of RAM, which allows for comfortable web browsing, app use and multitasking. Over my week of testing, I mostly used the iPad as a productivity and gaming machine, so I’d punctuate long stretches of email triaging and Slack messaging with a few rounds of that Elder Scrolls card game or cruising around in Galaxy on Fire 3. The iPad handled all of these tasks with only the occasional hiccup when I was trying to flummox it by rapidly jumping in and out of apps.

Engadget

It just works well, and that’s a pretty big compliment. I never found myself wondering why something was taking so long to load. Our usual slew of benchmarks bear out my experience: While less powerful than either of the two iPad Pro models, the 2017 iPad showed healthy gains compared with the iPad Air 2.


iPad (2017) iPad Pro 9.7 iPad Air 2
Geekbench 3.0 Multi-core 5,235 5,235 4,510
3DMark IS Unlimited 29,247 33,403 21,659
Google Octane 2.0 17,993 19,946 10,659

There’s really not much to say on the software front — the iPad comes loaded with iOS 10.3, which should be plenty familiar by now. You can check out the broad strokes in our iOS 10 review, but you’ll now benefit from Apple’s new, more-stable file system and the ability to locate errant AirPods. If nothing else, the iPad is a capable foundation for features like split-screen multitasking.

Running two apps in side-by-side windows worked well enough on my old Air 2, but the extra power produced by the new iPad’s A9 kept everything running more smoothly. It’s clear why Apple wanted this iPad to exist. It isn’t just because the company needed a low-cost tablet to boost its bottom line; it also wanted to provide a stronger base level of performance to help iOS really shine.

More important than the software that comes on the iPad are the updates it will eventually get. With the introduction of the 2017 model, people can go out and buy a relatively cheap iPad that’ll continue to be supported for years. That’s a pretty big deal when you consider the Air 2 — the previous budget-friendly 9.7-inch iPad — is more than 2 years old. Future versions of iOS and the apps they enable will continue to tax our hardware, and a longer support window is reason enough to buy this model over an aging Air.

Battery life


Battery life

iPad (2017) 12:41
iPad Pro 12.9 10:47
iPad mini 4 13:04
iPad Air 2 11:15
iPad Pro 9.7 9:21
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro 7:36
Surface Pro 4 7:15

I was concerned that Apple’s choice of chipset might have had some effect on battery life, but I shouldn’t have been. In terms of pure longevity, this is one of the best iPads we’ve tested. Consider the standard Engadget video rundown test, where we loop an HD video with the screen set at 50 percent brightness: The 2017 iPad lasted for 12 hours and 41 minutes. That’s well ahead of either the iPad Pro and the Air 2. (The only model that came out ahead was the iPad mini 4, which obviously had to drive a much smaller screen.) That’s also well past the 10-hour figure Apple trotted out once again, which isn’t exactly a surprise. Apple, after all, is notorious for low-balling its battery estimates. It holds up well when you’re doing more than bingeing on The Night Manager, too. When it came to my usual working-and-gaming cycle, the iPad stuck around for five or six days of consistent use before needing a recharge.

The competition

With a price starting at $ 329, there aren’t many good, direct competitors to the 2017 iPad. Devices like the new Galaxy Tab S3 are more expensive and are meant to stack up against the iPad Pro. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S2 could be a worthy alternative if you haven’t pledged allegiance to an operating system. It packs an incredible Super AMOLED display and a surprisingly clean, if not quite up-to-date, build of TouchWiz’d Android 6.0.

If you plan to pick up a low-cost tablet for gaming, you might also want to check out NVIDIA’s Shield K1, which starts at $ 199. It packs a smaller 8-inch screen, but the included Tegra chipset and mostly clean build of Android 7.0 Nougat make it one of the better inexpensive tablet picks. That said, the 2017 iPad would still be our pick — it’s the most tantalizing choice for the money.

Wrap-up

This iPad, perhaps more than any in recent memory, is an exercise in compromise. Yes, Apple has said that the iPad most clearly represents its vision of “people should get things done,” and the development of products like the iPad Pro speak to that belief. There is a time for innovation, and this wasn’t it. This time, Apple was just trying to build the best iPad it could for the masses. In that respect, it did a great job, even if the result isn’t as exciting as everyone hoped.

I feel for people who wanted something a little sleeker or more powerful: They have no other choice than to pay up for the Pro line. For everyone else, though — people who have never had iPads or people stuck with really old ones — this thing is a tempting buy that won’t let you down.

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The Morning After: Thursday, March 30th 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Yesterday we focused on Samsung’s big Galaxy S8 reveal, and it didn’t disappoint. If you need to get up to speed in a hurry, we boiled the entire event down into one nine-minute video that you can watch here.


No more leaksMeet the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Ever since the Galaxy Note 7 recall, Samsung has been waiting to get another flagship device into its customer’s hands. Now that the new Galaxy S8 family is here, we have new devices to talk about with new features like Bluetooth 5.0. Chris Velazco calls the S8+ “the most comfortable big phone I’ve ever held,” while Sean Buckley wants everyone to pump their brakes on the hype — it’s still just a phone. But it’s quite a phone, with Bixby AI, facial recognition and unlocking, and the DeX system that turns your smartphone into a desktop computer.


It’s good.Windows 10 Creators update release date & review

Microsoft finally has an official release date for its big upgrade to Windows 10: April 11th. Devindra Hardawar reviewed the OS, so you’ll know what to expect, which amounts to a series of tweaks and a few welcome new features. The Game Bar, upgraded Edge browser and Paint 3D are all useful additions, even if Windows doesn’t look very different after the update.


New Game+The Xbox One’s new UI is rolling out to everyone

While we wait for the Creators Update on Windows 10, Microsoft is pushing its latest software for the Xbox One. Already available to beta testers, this version brings a faster miniguide that pops up with a single button press, plus streaming with Microsoft’s Twitch competitor Beam. One thing, though, it’s time to say goodbye to the picture-in-picture Snap mode.


Six years after the premiere of ‘L.A. Noire’Hideo Kojima is headlining the inaugural Tribeca Games Festival

On April 28th and 29th the Tribeca Film Festival will have some company, as the Tribeca Games Festival takes place in New York City. Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima will speak, as some of the big names behind games like Bioshock, Max Payne, Firewatch and Overwatch. Also, Telltale Games promises a premiere and “crowd play” event for its upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy game. Tickets start at $ 30 and are available here.

But wait, there’s more…

  • Facebook opens up 360-degree live streaming to everyone
  • Lyft’s latest idea looks familiar because it’s a bus.
  • Take a look at the first interior photos of Blue Origin’s space capsule for tourists
  • Donald Trump is tweeting from an iPhone now
  • Bioware: Expect ‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’ support info Tuesday

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The Morning After: Wednesday, March 22nd 2017

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

How would you like a stealth delivery of Apple announcements? Well you’ve got them. While there’s nothing earth-shattering, there is a new tablet, a vivid new iPhone and a new video app. Also in today’s Adult Week series, we digitally clear out our PC and feel all the better for it.


Say goodbye to the Air. Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad is its cheapest yet

Apple just simplified its tablet lineup in a big way. The company has introduced a new 9.7-inch iPad — not the Air 3, just… iPad. You’ll find a slightly older but still speedy A9 processor inside instead of the Air 2’s aging A8X chip, and Apple has doubled the capacities to give you either 32GB or 128GB of storage. There are some drawbacks, however, that come with that cheaper price tag.


Beats two different shades of black. Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus now come in red

Apple has also just snuck out a new special edition red iPhone 7, with barely any fanfare. (Although rumors that something was afoot began earlier today when Apple’s online store went down.) The red aluminum iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be launching globally, adding some welcome color to the black and plainer metallic shades we’ve had until now. The pair of iPhones (with either 128GB or 256GB of storage) will launch in stores and online this Friday, March 24th, starting at $ 749.


The 16GB iPhone is dead.Apple doubles the storage of the iPhone SE and iPad Mini 4

Apple is also increasing the storage across all iPhone SE and iPad Mini 4 configurations. The lowest-capacity 4-inch iPhone SE is now 32GB, up from 16GB, and the 64GB model has been scrapped in favor of a 128GB version. Basically, Apple has doubled the storage and finally killed off the last 16GB iPhone, but good news: The prices haven’t changed.


You can try it out todayMeet Android O

Google has officially announced the next version of Android, and it’s O. There’s no dessert-themed nickname yet, but the next big update will have some tweaks aimed at extending battery life. They’ll work by managing how apps operate in the background, limiting services, location updates and broadcasts to help squeeze out more time between charges. Other new features include picture-in-picture on phones and tablets, and an autofill feature that should make it easier to use a password manager. If you want to get an early jump, there’s a developer preview available right now for several Nexus and Pixel devices.


It involves more than just emptying your Trash folder Adult Week: The life-changing magic of tidying up (your computer)

Now that many of us have terabytes of storage at our fingertips (or in the cloud), there’s a temptation to keep everything, from apps to old bookmarks. Despite that, Dan Cooper tried applying strategies from Marie Kondo’s famous book to his digital life, hitting the delete button on things that don’t provide some form of joy.


Deal from the middleThe hidden depth of mobile puzzle game ‘Where Cards Fall’

This top-down 3D puzzler will have players follow a handful of teenagers over the course of ten years, building houses of cards to navigate them along the way. Coming from the developers of Alto’s Adventure, Where Cards Fall will arrive later this year on iOS, Apple TV and Steam with more complex mechanics and story than we’re used to seeing in a mobile game.


How did it not have this already? iTunes movie rentals finally work across multiple devices

Nearly a decade after iTunes added movie rentals, Apple has finally made it work across devices. Previously, if you watched a rental on one phone, tablet or Apple TV, it would be stuck there until it expired. With the latest update, viewers can pause and resume on another iPhone or anywhere else they’re logged into the app. The only problem is that for now, the feature is limited to beta and developer builds, but it should be available widely soon enough.

But wait, there’s more…

  • Manually mark your parking spot in Google Maps for extra precision
  • UK also bans devices from cabins on flights from Middle East
  • Adult Week: I don’t know how to drive and I may never have to learn
  • Adidas ‘Knit for You’ pop-up shop uses robots to make your clothes on the spot

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The Morning After: Wednesday, March 15 2017

Hey, good morning!

Welcome to Wednesday. Remember all those big, beautiful TVs from CES back in early January? Well, we have prices for both Sony and Samsung’s newest screens. And if you can afford a $ 5 OLED TV, how about a $ 1,650 smartwatch? Welcome to the big-spender edition of The Morning After.


Everything has a price.Sony’s first 4K OLED TV starts at $ 5k

After Sony unveiled the beautiful XBR-A1E during CES, our next question was how much will it cost? Now we know, the price-tags are $ 5,000 and $ 6,500 for the 55- and 65-inch models, respectively. That puts them squarely between the mid- and high-end models from OLED pioneer LG, and Sony says they’ll be in stores next month.


Are you ready Neo? There could be a ‘Matrix’ relaunch on the way

It’s early, but Hollywood news outlets are reporting that Warner Bros. is working on a plan for another movie version of The Matrix. Names tossed around in the rumors include writer Zak Penn and actor Michael B. Jordan, although there’s no word on any level of involvement from the Wachowskis. The only question now is if there’s any thing left that can recapture the magic of the original movie and its bullet-time action sequences that blew away audiences in 1999.


You can swap the smart part out for a mechanical timepiece TAG Heuer made a modular $ 1,650 smartwatch

When TAG Heuer released its first smartwatch two years ago, it had a price tag of $ 1,800 and was dubbed the most expensive Android Wear device on the market. Still, more than 56,000 people bought it, which is certainly enough reason for the Swiss watchmaker to delve into the smartwatch business once again. And so it has.


It’s artSamsung’s 2017 QLED TVs start rolling out

Samsung is also ready to deliver on its 2017 TV lineup, with LED sets ranging in price from $ 2,800 for a 55-inch Q7, to $ 6,800 for a 75-inch Q8. The top of the line Q9 series has yet to appear, however. The company also promised its second-gen Ultra HD Blu-ray player launches next month for $ 400, and showed off a quirky ‘The Frame’ TV that doubles as a piece of artwork when it’s not in use.


It’s not a mistake this time‘La La Land’ composer on electronica’s key role in the film

Where does a drum machine fit in with traditional jazz music? That question drives the plot of not-quite Best Picture La La Land, and provided a challenge to its composer Justin Hurwitz. That challenge paid off with an Oscar for Best Original Music Score, and in an interview at SXSW, Hurwitz explains how he pulled off being a both a revolutionary and a traditionalist.


Say hello to Orisa Your new ‘Overwatch’ hero is a four-legged robot tank with a lot to prove.

Orisa, the latest character to enter the Overwatch fray, will be widely available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 21st. Orisa is an “anchor tank,” as Blizzard calls it — this means she’s the kind of massive, damage-absorbing hero that an entire team can rally behind and use as a home base, even in the middle of hectic fights. Reinhardt is another example of an “anchor tank” in Overwatch. For experienced players, Orisa is described as a mix of Reinhardt (a big, healthy character with a giant shield) and Zarya (who has a laser gun and barriers she can throw onto her allies).

But wait, there’s more…

  • ‘Full Throttle Remastered’ will tear up the road this April
  • This self-cleaning bag freshens up your smelly gym clothes
  • Microsoft’s Slack-fighting ‘Teams’ app rolls out to all Office 365 users
  • ‘Fistful of Stars’ lets you experience a stellar birth in VR
  • Russia finds Apple guilty of fixing iPhone prices

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The Morning After: Wednesday, February 22 2017

Welcome to your Wednesday. And maybe the future. NASA has a big announcement today, Qualcomm is promising phone chips that’ll gulp down data faster than your current fiber connection, and more immediately, your next iPhone might pack a depth-sensing camera. Yes, we all find excitement in different places.


Tune in to NASA TV at 1PM ET
NASA has a new discovery to announce

This afternoon, scientists will reveal a discovery “beyond our solar system.” The new findings have to do with exoplanets, aka planets that orbit stars other than our own. We don’t know what they’ve found — if it’s Earth 2 then can we all promise not to tell Mat Smith? — but all will be revealed in a live streamed press conference at 1PM ET, followed by an AMA on Reddit.


This plan doesn’t use them to replace drivers
UPS tests drone/truck delivery combo

The FAA still needs to approve the system before it can roll out, but UPS just showed off an idea to use drones to deliver packages. Using tech we’ve seen before from the Workhorse Group, flying machines take off from a delivery truck. While the driver continues to their next stop, the drone delivers its package and returns to the truck autonomously.


1.2Gbps, to be exact
Qualcomm’s new LTE chip is faster than gigabit fiber

The X20 chip is capable of simultaneously receiving up to 12 streams of LTE data. That’s good for bandwidth as high as 1.2Gbps for your phone or tablet when it arrives in 2018. Bonding 4G streams together (it can also upload at up to 150Mbps) is the best we can hope for until proper 5G tech arrives, assuming you can find a tower nearby ready to deliver that speed (and bandwidth caps it won’t instantly exceed.)


After losing a speaking gig and book deal
Internet troll Milo Yiannopoulos resigns from Breitbart News

There’s no need to waste any more of our valuable ink on the details. Wait, this newsletter isn’t printed in ink? It should be.


It could power a car while also capturing carbon dioxide.
Tiny ‘engine’ turns natural gas into hydrogen

The dilemma with hydrogen is that while fueling your car with the stuff is faster than charging an EV, making and distributing it is inefficient and polluting. A team from the Georgia Institute of Technology has created a four-stroke “engine” that converts natural gas (methane) into hydrogen from just about anywhere, while capturing the CO2. It could one day hook up to your natural gas line, letting you fuel your car from home in a non-polluting way like you can with an EV.


More G.Intel and Qualcomm are steadily gearing up for 5G

There’s still no unified 5G standard for the next generation of mobile communication, but boy, do some companies have plenty of ideas. Qualcomm and Intel are hoping to play essential roles in the 5G ecosystem, which is poised to be at least ten times faster than existing networks and offer features like near-zero latency.


Apple owns the company that helped build the original Kinect.
The next iPhone might have depth-sensing front camera

Rumors of what the next iPhone will be like are coming in hot and heavy. Last week, well-connected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted that the new handsets would nix the home button for a touch-friendly “function area.” Now, a KGI Securities report says that the upcoming OLED iPhone will feature a “revolutionary” front camera that’s capable of sensing 3D space via infrared. Intrigued?


Nothing is sacredThe Etch A Sketch got an LCD screen

So many feelings.

But wait, there’s more…

  • The reborn ‘MST3K’ will stream on Netflix April 14th
  • Alienware 13 Kaby Lake review
  • SodaStream recalls 51,000 bottles because they might explode
  • New brain-computer interface technology delivers faster and more accurate typing

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The Morning After: Thursday, February 16 2017

Welcome to the return of iPhone rumors. It’s already that wonderful time of the year as leaks, rumors and supply chain-side intel offer a glimpse into what Apple’s cooking. Or not. Global gaming show E3 is starting sooner this year, with Xbox set to reveal its new console on the weekend before it begins. And like Pokémon? How about more of ’em?


iPhone Touchbar?
iPhone 8 ‘function area’ rumored to replace home button

Since MWC 2017 can’t grab all the mobile hype, the iPhone rumor machine is already off and running. We’ve already heard that Apple may be planning to release two iPhone 7s models this fall, plus a pricier iPhone 8 with an edge-to-edge OLED screen. Now, a note from analyst Ming-chi Kuo suggests that while dropping the traditional home button, the iPhone 8 will dedicate part of its display as a function area, with controls that switch based on what you’re doing (similar to Apple’s Touchbar on the new MacBook Pro).


No, not the coffee!
‘Prey’ makes you fear everything

Prey is all about deception. The first-person shooter starts off simple enough: You’re a scientist beginning a new job at your brother’s massive research company. You wake up in your bedroom, do some exploring and board a helicopter on top of your roof to head to work, where you’re then subjected to some first-day testing. Then all hell breaks loose. Aliens run rampant in the compound, and you black out. Then you wake up in your bedroom again, just like before, as if the first 30 minutes of the game were a bad dream. Then things get weird.


Because competition works
Why is Verizon offering unlimited data again?

After a few years of running from unlimited data plans, Verizon is offering them once again (with a 22GB asterisk). So what makes now the right time? Nathan Ingraham digs into why T-Mobile’s ‘Uncarrier” pitch has become compelling enough that Verizon felt forced to open the gates.


Its E3 event is moving to Sunday.Microsoft will unveil Xbox Project Scorpio on June 11th

Last year at E3, Microsoft pre-announced its big hardware upgrade for this year’s show: Project Scorpio. The new box should bring true 4K gaming capability to the Xbox platform, but will that be enough to narrow the gap with Sony? We’ll find out what the company has planned for 2017 on Sunday night ahead of E3 at 5PM ET.


It’s like a snorkel for your Shamrock shake.
McDonald’s has re-engineered drinking straws

McDonald’s thinks the humble drinking straw needed a redesign. It drafted in a team of robotic and aerospace engineers to make something to help push its new two-flavor Chocolate Shamrock Shake. It has two holes and looks like a snorkel. But there’s science here. Almost too much.


Yes, people are still playing
‘Pokémon Go’ adds 80 creatures from ‘Gold’ and ‘Silver’ this week

The first big Pokémon Go upgrade for 2017 is rolling out this week, bringing new monsters from the Johto region, like Chikorita, Cyndaquil and Totodile. Their addition will also mean some new evolutions for old monsters, while the gameplay for collecting monsters has been tweaked slightly. It’s still the same game, though, and as the weather warms up once again, we’ll see if it can lure players back to their local Pokéstops.


This discovery could lead to smarter robots.
Your brain always has a backup plan

You may not always be consciously considering a Plan B when you’re making a decision, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Queen’s University researchers have discovered that the human brain’s motor neurons will prepare for multiple actions before making a decision. The findings suggest that the brain interprets the environment as a range of potential actions, and that you’re always considering options even if you only ever settle on one.

But wait, there’s more…

  • IMAX opens first VR theater in Los Angeles
  • Verizon reportedly reduces its Yahoo offer by $ 250 million
  • Republicans call for investigation into EPA use of encrypted chats

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