#150 Pacific Rim: The Final Fortnite Showdown

Between the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and the Pacific Rim fight that happened on Fortnite, we got a busy news day to unpack!

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#41 Guess That Pokemon

This episode was recorded LIVE on Mixer! If you want to be part of the live show along with the chance to win some free stuff, you should join us!

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Spotify Teams With Ancestry to Make Playlists Based on Your DNA

Spotify has teamed with Ancestry.com to offer users playlists based on their own DNA. By signing up through the genealogy company, you can trace your family history and input results to Spotify. It’ll then generate a playlist based on your family tree and listening habits. The program will “encourage [Ancestry’s] audience to explore the soundtrack of their heritage,” Danielle Lee, global head of partner solutions at Spotify, told Quartz.

Netflix still intends to produce Stranger Things game despite Telltale collapse

Last Friday, Telltale Games, the developer behind IP-driven, point-and-click titles like The Walking Dead series, Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy, laid off most of its staff with the intention of eventually shutting down the company. For both fans and employees, surprised by the move, it was a crushing turn of events.

Apple Watch’s Walkie-Talkie is practically useless

If you have a new Apple Watch Series 4, or have upgraded your existing Apple Watch to watchOS 5, you’ve probably noticed you have a new app on your device called Walkie-Talkie. This particular app uses the FaceTime Audio APIs, so you can instantaneously voice communicate with someone else that has Walkie-Talkie, much like the way Sprint Push To Talk/Direct Connect (PTT) works with those phones that support it.

A Weird Pokemon Briefly Appeared In Pokemon Go And No One Knows What It Is

Pokemon Go’s latest Community Day took place this past weekend, and by all accounts, it was a fairly standard event. However, something rather unusual happened right after the Community Day ended: a strange, never-before-seen Pokemon briefly appeared in the wild.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Launch Gameplay Trailer

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#16 Introducing The Grand Tour Video Game

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IFA 2018: what to expect from Berlin’s massive tech show

It’s that time of year again: IFA 2018 is almost here, and while we’ve seen some big IFAs in the past, the 2018 edition could be the biggest yet.

Everything we think we know about the new Apple Watch models that could launch next month

If Apple keeps the same pattern, it’s likely to introduce new Apple Watch models soon, possibly as soon as the second week in September. Plus, this year it’s possible that Apple introduces the first new Apple Watch industrial design since the product line was revealed in 2014, which would make it the biggest upgrade in over three years.

Samsung announces two new ‘affordable’ curved gaming monitors

Samsung has announced a pair of gaming monitors at Gamescom 2018, positioning them as “affordable” in the company’s own words. The CJG5 series comes in 27- and 32-inch varieties, both using curved 2560 x 1440 VA panels with a refresh rate of 144Hz. The monitors have two HDMI ports (one 2.0, one 1.4) and a DisplayPort input.

Netflix is about to make a big change to the way you pay for streaming

Looks like in a not-so-subtle move, Netflix is wanting to recover the 30% of subscription fees currently being forked over to iTunes and Google Play stores by having users register on their own mobile site. Sounds familiar…

The Grand Tour gets its own video game

Amazon announced today that it will release The Grand Tour Game on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game will closely mimic the show, offering players the chance to relive some of the cars, locations and challenges featured on the first three seasons of Amazon’s streaming series. In addition to single-player action, there will also be a four-player, split-screen multiplayer option, as well. Every time a new Grand Tour episode drops during its third season, you’ll get access to new cars, tracks and challenges from that episode.

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Get Alexa On Your Apple Watch With This App

This third party app brings Alexa and Siri together on your Apple Watch.

Image Credit: Gear Patrol

Siri might be the most widely used digital assistant, but Alexa isn’t far behind. Amazon’s smart digital assistant has been gaining a lot of traction over the last year thanks to its smart speakers.

Apple Watch users rely on Siri to do their hands-free tasks for them. And Apple’s wearable tech can’t officially run any other assistant. But now, an app allows you to use Amazon’s Alexa assistant on your Apple Watch.

Voice in a Can is a third-party app that lets you talk to Alexa from your wrist. It’s a standalone Apple Watch app, so you don’t need to tether to an iPhone to use it. As long as you have Wi-Fi or LTE (for Apple Series 3 LTE-enabled watches), you’re good to go.

So how does it work?

Voice in a Can uses a watch complication so that you can launch it from the watchface. All you have to do is sync your main Amazon Alexa account. To talk to Alexa, just tap on the icon in the app.

The Verge warns that you can expect Alexa to be slow to respond. It also suggests increasing the timeout setting for apps on the Apple Watch because the Alexa service disconnects every time the display goes blank.

Since Voice in a Can is a third-party app, you won’t be able to enjoy certain features. This includes making calls, playing music, or Echo announcements. 

However, the app fully fully supports the smart home features of Alexa.

The app costs $1.99 and is downloadable from the Apple Store here.

Apple Watch To Get Solid-State Touch-Sensitive Buttons

This button will be similar to the solid-state buttons found on iPhone home buttons.

According to a report by Fast Company, the next-generation Apple Watch will be doing away with the mechanical buttons.

The Cupertino-based company is reportedly planning to replace the mechanical buttons found on the right side of the watches to touch-sensitive ones. The report claims that the information is from a source with direct knowledge of Apple’s plans.

Having the solid-state buttons will make the watches more resistant to water. This is because the opening required for the movable part will now be eliminated. Without the mechanical buttons as well, there will be more space internally for a larger battery.

The next-gen Apple Watch will retain the design of the current models, as in having the Digital Crown and side button. However, neither of them will click as before. Instead, they will adopt a haptic feedback approach, very similar to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8.

Apple is also reportedly working on making the top buttons as sensors to gather health-related data. Currently, the heart rate sensor at the back of the watch works by direct skin contact. Having an additional sensor can make the readings more accurate and reliable.

It is not clear whether this improved design will be applied to the Apple Watches set to launch this year. If they don’t make a debut this September, expect to see them next year.

Fast Company also reports that this switch to solid-state buttons will pave the way to a completely button-less Apple Watch. This is part of the company’s “long-held desire” of streamlining the physical features of all its devices.

 

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Apple Is Closing Their Last Apple Watch Shop Next Month

Apple is set to close its last remaining pop-up shop dedicated to Apple Watch on May 13.
(Credit: Shotaro Akiba/Twitter)

The Cupertino-based company is shutting the doors to the last of their remaining Apple Watch-exclusive shop in May. The Tokyo shop is the last of the three pop-up shops that were dedicated to selling their wearable tech.

Twitter user Shotaro Akiba has Tweeted a photo of the announcement at Shinjuku’s high-end Isetan department store where the shop is located.

The announcement reads, “This is a notice that Apple Watch at Isetan Shinjuku will close as of Sunday, May 13. Thank you very much for your continuous patronage.”

Apple’s pop-shop in Japan is the first of its kind to open. Its opening coincided with the launch of the original Apple Watch back in 2015. The other two, located in Paris and London, were opened later on but has since closed in 2017.

But closing the shop doesn’t mean the company is in trouble. Earlier this month, Apple opened a full-fledged store in Shinjuku as well. The pop-up stores were just outlets for Apple’s remaining inventory of their 18k Gold and Rose Gold Apple Watch Edition models. They sold for at least $10,000 to $17,000 when they first launched.

Now that the company is focusing on marketing the watch primarily as a health and fitness accessory, it seems that there is no need for the specialty stores.

 

Defective Apple Watch 2 Models will be Repaired

Free Repair For Defective Apple Series 2 Watches

Apple will repair defective Series 2 watches for free. This is good news to Apple Watch Series 2 owners.

How To Avail Of The Free Offer

Apple has revised its service policy, introducing a clause that entitles 42mm variants to a free repair. The free maintenance service is strictly for devices suffering from battery issues.

Devices which are unable to power on, or are experiencing hardware defects can also avail of this. But only if these problems are due to battery swelling. According to digital experts a swollen battery can prevent an apple watch from switching on. It can also cause the screen to separate from thee unit’s frame.

The updated policy does not apply to Apple Watch Series 1, and Series 3.

Eligibility is limited to 42mm-sized Apple Watch Series 2 models. This is also including Edition, Hermès, Nike+, and Sport variants, pending a visual-mechanical inspection.

Customers have three years from the date of purchase to avail of the free service. After that, they will already be paying for it.

Other Defects Which Are Eligible For A Free Repair

Another Apple Watch defect which is eligible for a free repair is a separate back cover. If you have a first generation Apple watch with a separated back cover, Apple will also repair it for free. This free offer is also extended up to three years from the original date of purchase. If you bought an Apple watch on August 2016, it is qualified for a free repair until August 2019. Only if the defect is a separated back cover or a result of battery swelling.

The service policy has been in effect starting last year. This is still applicable even if the unit’s one year warranty has elapsed.

Affected customers can call an Apple Store and schedule a Genius Bar Appointment. They can also visit an Authorized Apple Service Provider to initiate the repair process. Or they can call Apple Support to arrange shipment of the damaged Apple watch to an Apple Repair Center in a postage paid box.

Customers with questions about refunds of Apple watches with previous defective back cover repairs are advised to contact Apple Support.

An Apple Watch A Day Can Keep the Doctor Away

An apple a day keeps the doctor away is an adage as valid today as it was then; however, this time we are picking a different kind of Apple – an Apple Watch, to be exact. A few months ago, CNBC reported that Apple was coming out with a smartwatch that could potentially monitor the tendency to develop diabetes with 85% accuracy. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, a big fan of the Apple watch tested a monitoring device that tracked his blood sugar levels in response to factors like  food, exercise, and stress.

This non-invasive and continuous monitoring (as opposed to current methods that monitored blood sugar levels through intermittent pricks or blood drawing) was supposedly a project started by the late Steve Jobs. CNBC revealed that Apple has also bought a company called Cors sometime in 2010 when its then CEO Bob Messerschmidt (later absorbed by Apple) piqued Job’s interest in “sensor technologies for health and wellness”.

A few years ago, Apple reportedly hired a small team of bioengineers who worked on this secret project of developing non-invasive sensors somewhere in Palo Alto.The project apparently has advanced to the testing stage and was tried out in the Bay area.

Called the holy grail of smart wearables its entry into today’s healthspace is timely since the incidence of obesity, diabetes, and the slew of chronic metabolic diseases that result directly from the excess sugar in the bloodstream is alarming. Back in 2014, CDC reported that more than a third of those over 20 had prediabetes and that a full 12% of adults developed diabetes or were born diabetic.

Other apps monitor heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure but this Apple innovation is the first of its kind that could give some sort of “biofeedback” about sugar levels throughout the day so that the wearer could respond correct his diet, level-up exercise, and modify his lifestyle, in general. According to Cook, “It’s mentally anguishing to stick yourself many times a day to check your blood sugar.” Obviously, if this can be done painlessly, cheaply, and conveniently, more people will be able to monitor their health and can “self-correct” so as not to cross the bridge to developing full fledged diabetes from a metabolic syndrome state.

Speculations fly on the nature of the sensors. Some sources hinted that it could be optical in nature. The cost of the project is estimated to cost up to a billion dollars but the Apple Watch’s implications in healthcare is enormous. It is of no surprise that Aetna, a leader in health insurance was supposedly in secret talks with Apple to bring the watch to its 23 Million members. A successful piloting of this gadget would make it a “must-have” wearable – could embedding sensors on Apple phones be far behind?

Already, the Google life science team is at the heels of rival Apple with its own foray into smart contact lenses that can detect blood sugar levels. Started in 2015 with partner DexCom, Google hopes to market a miniature device, probably the size of a bandage.

 

 

Apple Secretly Developing Its Own Screen

Apple is secretly designing and producing its own screens for the first time. They are doing this in a secret facility near their California headquarters. According to sources, they are secretly making small screens for testing purposes.

The technology giant is significantly investing in the development of next generation microLED screens. These microLED screens will make future gadgets slimmer. Devices will also have a brighter display and less power-hungry. They use different light-emitting compounds than the current OLED displays.

The screens are difficult to make than OLED. Apple almost gave up its experiment. But their engineers continued to do it and made progress. Sources say they are now in the advanced stage. But the public would probably have to wait for several years before seeing its result.

Apple’s engineers are said to have produced fully functional Apple Watch-sized microLED screens at the facility.

They are planning to use this technology commercially for the first time in Apple Watches. The current Apple Watch uses an OLED screen from LG Display.

MicroLED is a complex new display technology where each of its pixels emit its own light instead of relying on backlighting for the entire panel. This can give microLED excellent contrast, viewing angles, and power efficiency.

Samsung’s 146-inch modular TV is also using this technology which was showed in CES last January. This proves that Samsung is also working on microLED. “The Wall”, as the TV is dubbed, will supposedly go on sale in August. No price was mentioned yet for this device.

The AppleWatch though will be the first Apple device to use the microLED technology. This is an ambitious undertaking of Apple. This shows the company’s latest example of Apple bringing the design of components in-house.

The company has been designing chips for their devices for several years now. The company’s move to go into developing displays will affect a lot of suppliers from screen makers to companies that produce chip-screen interfaces.

Because of this report, companies which make screen driver components, and the like, crushed from 1.4 percent to as much as 16 percent. With Apple’s new endeavor, they might probably own and control microLED.

But this technology takes a lot of work. The company needs new equipment to achieve its goal. But being a stable and established company, Apple can do it.

Fitbit: New Apple Watch Rival ‘Versa’ and Kid-Friendly ‘Ace’ Announced

Earlier this week, Fitbit announced a new product which they branded as the “smartwatch for all.” The company called it as Fitbit Versa, and it has features that are at par with Apple’s smartwatch, the Apple Watch.

 

What is Fitbit Versa?

 

The company labelled their smartwatch as the “”lightest metal smartwatch”.  Fitbit sells its Versa wearable in the US market. Its case is made of an ultra-thin, and anodized aluminum that is tapered and angled to make it appear as small that fits the wrist.

 

Also, Fitbit’s smartwatch has a touchscreen support with a brightness of 1, 000 nits. Having said that, users could actually read the screen even in bright settings. Fitbit Versa’s battery could also last for more than four days.

 

What makes it more amazing is that Fitbit Versa’s look and design is similar to Apple Watch. Aside from Fitbit Versa, Fitbit also announced a health tracking for female as well as Fitbit Ace for children. Both are coming to Fitbit iOS app.

 

Product family lineup for Ace

“As the wearables category continues to grow, Fitbit Versa fills a critical need in the market by delivering a beautifully designed, full-featured smartwatch that is easy to use at a very competitive price,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit said in a statement.

 

“Versa brings consumers the advanced health and fitness features Fitbit is known for, along with broad compatibility across mobile platforms and 4+ days battery life to provide users with a better picture of their overall health, making it stand out from any smartwatch available today,” Park added.

 

Meanwhile, some users claim that Fitbit Versa has features that were previously expected features seen in previous Fitbits. The common features were 24/7 heart rate tracking, the onscreen workouts, onboard music storage, automatic sleep tracking, and wallet-free payments, among others.

 

Also, the company said that it would launch Fitbit OS 2.0 for the company’s smartwatches and other wearable devices.