#166 Loot Crate Goes Bankrupt!!

Loot Crate, the company known for its gamer gear and monthly collectible boxes files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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#151 Shadow Pokemon Are Taking Over Pokemon GO

Team Rocket has unleashed Shadow Pokemon into the world. How do you catch them and more all coming up on this episode!

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#97 Fortnite Update Drops In Reboot Vans

Well will you look at that, with the respawn system so popular in Apex Legends it looks like Fortnite is taking a stab at it as well because why not? Does this feel like a stolen feature or a helpful addition to the battle royale genre?

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#89 Snapchat Goes All In On Mobile Gaming

Gaming has been becoming increasingly more mainstream through the years, growing alongside the growth social media has seen as well. With so many different companies diving head first into video games, it shouldn’t really be a shock that reports are stating that Snapchat will be the latest to join this market with their own version of a mobile gaming platform for its app.

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#60 The Fallout Around Fallout 76

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iOS 12 stops police unlocking your iPhone

Apple is constantly working to improve the security on its devices and protect our data. This has led to improved encryption and a shift from simple passcodes to fingerprint and most recently facial recognition on its smartphones. The security measures are so good, police seizing an iPhone have to be careful not to look directly at it. There is one thorn in Apple’s side when it comes to security, though, and that’s the company Grayshift. Founded in 2016, it offers law enforcement agencies around the world an iPhone unlocking device called GrayKey. It works, or at least it did until now, and has won Grayshift many customers. However, that all changed with iOS 12.

Snap is still losing users, blames its Android app

Snapchat’s poor Android app is still proving to be a major problem for the company. The app lost users for the second straight quarter, with its daily active users declining by 2 million, and Snapchat’s lackluster Android app may be to blame. “The decline was primarily among Android users,” CEO Evan Spiegel said in his prepared remarks during the company’s third-quarter earnings call.

It Sure Seems Like ‘Fallout 76’ Will Be The ‘No Man’s Sky’ Of 2018

Just before the launch of No Man’s Sky back in August of 2016, Hello Games chief Sean Murray released an open letter to fans. There was something just a tiny bit odd about the note. After all, it opened with this line: I feel sick writing this. You are about to play ‘No Man’s Sky’ and I don’t know what you’ll think. “Believe the hype” this was decidedly not. And sure enough, upon its release the gaming community descended into that place only the gaming community really can: Collective fury, a sense of betrayal, and outrage all mixed into a frothing stew that quickly bubbled over.

‘Pokémon Go’ will track your activity without launching the app

Pokémon Go has encouraged more than a few people to step up their physical exercise, and Niantic wants to reward that. It’s launching an Adventure Sync feature in its augmented reality games (starting with Pokémon Go) that syncs with Google Fit and iOS’ HealthKit to translate steps into game progress without having the app open or using a smartwatch. If you regularly go for a run before work, you’ll see that reflected in more Pokémon candy or more efficient egg hatching. You’ll get weekly milestones, too.

This is the Fortnite Nerf gun

Short of an actual apocalypse (which should be coming any day now), this Nerf-branded gun from Hasbro is (thankfully) probably the closest you’re going to come to any real life Fortnite action in the near future. The dart-firing gun was announced recently, alongside a Fortnite version of Monopoly (which launched earlier this month), and now we’ve got some pictures and a June 1 release date. The AR-L Blaster was inspired by the firearm in the wildly popular sandbox survival game and has the giant Fortnite branding across its body to provide it.

Samsung’s Galaxy Squad Assembles: Awkwafina and Grand Prize Winner Hector Diaz join Ninja and Travis Scott in a Fortnite Battle Royale

Samsung today announced results of the #NinjaGalaxySquad contest, which called for gamers to showcase their best moments while wearing the super elite Galaxy skin within Fortnite to secure a spot on Ninja’s coveted gaming squad. Grand prize winner Hector Diaz will join the celebrity-packed squad – including Fortnite streaming legend Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Crazy Rich Asians and Oceans 8 actor Nora “Awkwafina” Lum and award-winning artist Travis Scott – for an exclusive livestream. The exciting Fortnite gameplay is set to take place on Tuesday, October 30, which will also exclusively debut the all-new Galaxy accessory kit.

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#43 Fortnite Cross-Play Announced For PS4

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Facebook is burying Snap, as Facebook and Messenger Stories hit 300 million daily active users

It’s not just Instagram Stories that Snapchat has to worry about. Facebook and Messenger Stories now have 300 million daily active users, the company announced Wednesday. A user counts as one person, meaning they would not be counted twice across both apps. Facebook did not share the breakdown between each app. By comparison, Snap-owned Snapchat reported 188 million daily active users in its second quarter earnings report in August.

OCULUS’ $399 QUEST TO TAKE VR MAINSTREAM

TWO YEARS AGO, Facebook-owned Oculus quietly began demoing a prototype of a stand-alone VR headset codenamed Santa Cruz. Unlike the Oculus Rift, this prototype didn’t need to be wired to a PC to work. Like the Oculus Rift, it promised an immersive quality that might help people actually understand why they’d want to hang out in a virtual environment, wearing a device on their face. Now that prototype is coming out. At its annual developer conference today in San Jose, Oculus unveiled the Quest, the official name for the Santa Cruz headset. Oculus plans to ship it next spring for $399.

Rematch: iPhone XS versus Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for ‘Fortnite’ gaming

About two weeks ago, AppleInsider compared the iPhone X to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 while playing Fortnite, but some complained putting a just-released phone against last year’s model. With the release of the iPhone XS and XS Max, is there as much of a difference between the flagship models of both companies as last time?

PlayStation 4 gets cross-play with Nintendo Switch and Xbox One

Sony Interactive Entertainment boss John Kodera announced the news in a blog post today. “The first step will be an open beta beginning today for Fortnite that will allow for cross platform gameplay, progression and commerce across PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Mac operating systems. We see the beta as an opportunity to conduct thorough testing that ensures cross-platform play is best on PlayStation, while being mindful about the user experience from both a technical and social perspective. ”

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#28 The Google Maps Feature We’ve Been Waiting For

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The Google Maps feature we’ve all been dying for is finally almost here

The feature, currently in testing, is called “Current Trip,” Android Police explains. What it does is to allow Google Maps users to return to the navigation route they’ve just set up in Google Maps without losing it. 
What happens in Google Maps now is that you can’t use the app to perform other searches without interrupting the trip you’re on if you’re already using navigation. But, Google is testing a way to return to your previous driving directions even after you’ve used Google Maps for something else, like searching for a nearby restaurant.

Snap launches new styles of Spectacles that look more like traditional sunglasses

If the main hangup that’s kept you from purchasing Snap’s Spectacles has been their design, two new models that the company is introducing today might eliminate those hesitations. Snap has just announced the new Veronica and Nico styles of Spectacles 2. They contain all the same features and recording quality improvements as the model first introduced in April, but this time inside a more traditional look. It maybe won’t be quite so obvious that you’re wearing Spectacles anymore.

Audi kills its manual-transmission cars: How America lost its love for the stick shift

The luxury automotive brand, part of Volkswagen Group, confirmed that it will no longer offer any manual-transmission vehicles in the U.S. beginning with the 2019 model year. The final Audi models offered with a stick-shift variant were the 2018 A4 sedan and A5 coupe, Audi spokeswoman Amanda Koons said.

Fortnite Mobile Players Have Figured Out a Way to Predict the Path and Final Location of the Cube

It has been theorized that the cube will eventually end up in, or near, Loot Lake, and mobile players using the lowest graphics settings may have now confirmed it. According to a Reddit post that has gained a huge amount of traction, playing on these low settings allows players to see patches of grass that indicate where the cube has been and where it will be in the future. See the below image to track where the cube might wind up next!

 

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Unskippable Six-Second Video Ads Coming To Snapchat

Snapchat is planning to add 6-second unskippable video ads to its platform.

(Image Credit: Mashable)

If you hated YouTube or Facebook’s unskippable ads, you’re not in luck. Another social media giant is joining the bandwagon and this time, it’s Snap.

But don’t fret just yet. The 6-second “Commercials” are going to be tested on the TV-like Snapchat Shows, and not on personal stories or Discover editions. For those unfamiliar, Snapchat Shows are around 4-5 minutes long with high-production videos from big Hollywood companies. These include HBO, NBC, ESPN and others.

The test is scheduled to begin in the middle of next month.

Snap used to be reluctant to impose ads on its users but times have changed for the still un-profitable company. In its effort to be more attractive to advertisers, the trial is to see how many ads users are able to tolerate. Commercials is expected to consist of high-quality ads from major companies, presumably with a hefty price tag attached.

The test comes as Snapchat takes a very public flak from users from a recent redesign. Apparently the change caused them to lose some very high-profile users and a decline in traffic.

The company is reportedly trying to bring back the old design with users seeing chronological feeds again earlier this month. It is still unclear whether this rollback is only a test or a full-scale roll-out to all users.

 

Snapchat Brings Back Chronological Feed For Some Users

Some users report that they are seeing chronological stories on their Snapchat feed once more.

(Credit: Reuters)

When social media apps started meddling with user’s feeds, a lot of people were not happy about it. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat all redesigned their feeds to reflect  algorithmically-sorted posts.

Today, Snapchat users have reported that they are seeing back the classic reverse chronological order on their feeds. This means they are now seeing posts from friends as they are being posted. This is opposed to seeing Stories of people they watch or interact with the most first – something that last year’s redesign brought about.

It is still unclear whether this update is only a test or a full-scale roll-out to all users.

When Snapchat first announced the redesign last year, CEO Evan Spiegel explained their reasoning. “We are separating the social from the media, and taking an important step forward towards strengthening our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media.”
The company actually saw growth improve when it switched to the algorithm-sorted feed in Q4 2017. However, it was not great for everyone. It was annoying to heavy users who prefer to catch Stories the moment they’re relevant, rather than hours later.
But switching back to the old system may not be as bad as it was before. Last year’s redesign included moving celebrities’ and brands’ Stories to the Discover section. This means a user’s chronological feed would now likely show posts from people he or she actually cares about.
Snapchat is not alone in reconsidering their feed format. Last month, Instagram also announced in a statement that they are changing their algorithm to make things a little “more timely”.
Let’s wait and see if Facebook does the same.

 

Snapchat Introduces Group Video Chat and Mentions

Snapchat brings group video calls and allows friend tagging on Stories.

(Credit: Snap)

Snapchat is introducing two new features this week, including the ability to make group video calls and a “Mentions” feature which allows tagging in their Stories.

The Mentions feature was first reported last month by TechCrunch and was confirmed by Snapchat to be in the testing phase. On Tuesday, Snapchat made this announcement public on its website.

Instagram has famously ripped-off the Stories feature from Snapchat. Now the latter is doing the same by adding the Mentions feature.

To tag friends, all you have to do is type “@” and spell out the username of person. The person tagged will be notified of the mention. Those who see the tagged snap will also be able to swipe up and watch any public stories that the person has posted.

The new group video feature allows up to 16 users in one call at a time. They can also opt to use the group voice call which allows up to 32 users. Of course, the video calls will include support of the filters that initially made Snapchat appealing to the public.

Both features will begin rolling out globally this week.

Snap has definitely been busy in its effort to attract and keep more users to its platform. Over the past few months, it has introduced several new features including Map Explore and Giphy integration. Deluxe Bitmoji customisaiton and custom face lenses were added as well.

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