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31
Jan

Engadget giveaway: Win a OnePlus 3T smartphone!


When OnePlus hit the scene, its smartphone sparked lots of interest, but only limited quantities were available. Now, it’s become a standard for those looking to pick up a quality Android handset at a good price ($440+). The OnePlus 3T comes hot on the heels of the OnePlus 3, but it’s a welcome update. Long battery life, great performance, solid build quality and a camera that works well in low light are key selling points in a handset and the 3T has them all. There’s a Snapdragon 821 processor under the hood and the camera boasts 16 megapixels. Similar to Apple and Samsung’s offerings, the 3T keeps its fingerprint sensor tech on the front, while OxygenOS manages the on-screen show — which is a fairly clean-skinned version of Android. This week, OnePlus has provided us with two 3T handsets for a pair of lucky readers to enjoy. To get in on this giveaway, just head to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning a OnePlus 3T smartphone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Entries are handled through the Rafflecopter widget above. Comments are no longer accepted as valid methods of entry. You may enter without any obligation to social media accounts, though we may offer them as opportunities for extra entries. Your email address is required so we can get in touch with you if you win, but it will not be given to third parties.
  • Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), 18 or older! Sorry, we don’t make this rule (we hate excluding anyone), so direct your anger at our lawyers and contest laws if you have to be mad.
  • Winners will be chosen randomly. Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) OnePlus 3T smartphone — the first selected winner will receive a 128GB Gunmetal handset and the second winner will receive a 64GB Soft Gold device.
  • If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen. Make sure that the account you use to enter the contest includes your real name and a contact email. We do not track any of this information for marketing or third-party purposes.
  • This unit is purely for promotional giveaway. Engadget and AOL are not held liable to honor warranties, exchanges or customer service.
  • The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here.
  • Entries can be submitted until Feb. 1st at 11:59PM ET. Good luck!
31
Jan

‘Super Mario Run’ made Nintendo $53 million


How well has Nintendo’s first experiment in mobile gaming fared so far? Quite well… though it’s not enough for the company’s tastes. The gaming giant has revealed that Super Mario Run has pulled in more than ¥6 billion ($53 million) in revenue since its December launch. That isn’t a whole lot for a company used to selling far more expensive games, but it’s very healthy for a mobile title that’s less than two months old. And Nintendo is better than most at turning users into paying customers. Out of 78 million total downloads, more than 5 percent forked over the money to unlock everything. Games consultant Serkan Toto tells the Wall Street Journal that this is “amazing” for a game with one $10 in-app purchase. Most rivals can’t hit 5 percent even with $1 or $2 purchases.

Nintendo is still disappointed, though, as it had hoped to get a double-digit conversion rate. And if you consider how some of the dedicated mobile game makers fare, it’s easy to see why there would be some disappointment. Clash of Clans developer Supercell, for instance, raked in nearly $1 billion in 2015 through three games. While Super Mario Run is just one game, it has the advantage of an extremely recognizable brand name and a higher-than-usual in-app purchase price. It’d ideally be a cash cow all by itself, even though it only launched on iOS at first.

You could see a change of fortunes soon. Super Mario Run will reach Android in March, and big-name franchises like Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem are also on the way. Smartphone gaming may well become a major source of income for Nintendo — it may just take a while to get there.

Via: The Verge

Source: Wall Street Journal

31
Jan

The LG 5K monitor Apple sells doesn’t work near WiFi routers


Rather than replace its aging Thunderbolt display, Apple showed off LG’s new 27-inch Ultrafine 5K monitor as the perfect mate for the new MacBook Pro when they were introduced last fall. Unfortunately, it sounds like this new display comes with a pretty significant flaw. According to 9to5Mac, the LG Ultrafine 5K becomes extremely unstable or even “unusable” when placed within two meters of a WiFi router. If placed closer, the monitor starts disconnecting and even will crash a computer completely.

While reviews on Apple’s site don’t mention this specific problem, it sounds like there are general reliability issues to be had with the new monitor. Plenty of the negative reviews cite erratic performance, particularly when waking up a pair of monitors from sleep. And 9to5Mac cited a review specifically mentioning the router placement issue, which is what clued the writer in to the problem in the first place. I wasn’t able to find that particular review, but an LG customer service representative confirmed that users should keep the display more than two meters from a WiFi router.

Depending on your desk setup, this could be a major pain to resolve. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like LG is treating this as something that needs to be fixed on this display going forward — so it’s definitely something to be aware of before dropping large amounts of cash on it. LG says that only the 5K display is affected, so if you’re OK with a smaller screen, the 21.5-inch 4K display might be worth looking at.

We’ve reached out to both Apple and LG and will update this post with any details they provide.

Via: Ars Technica

Source: 9to5Mac

31
Jan

Uber opens its network to self-driving cars, starting with Daimler


Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler has agreed to eventually roll out a fleet of self-driving vehicles on the Uber network, in the hope of making ridesharing safer and more environmentally friendly. To be clear, Daimler doesn’t currently have any self-driving vehicles on the market, but it’s working on a line due out “in the coming years,” according to Uber.

Uber has a similar partnership in place with Volvo. Uber’s fleet of customized, self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs is currently rolling around Arizona, after the California DMV revoked the company’s rights to operate in San Francisco back in December.

However, Uber’s partnership with Daimler differs from the Volvo deal in a key way: Daimler will own and operate its vehicles independently, and simply use Uber’s technology and ridesharing network services, TechCrunch reports. This is the first stage of Uber’s “open self-driving vehicle platform,” the company says.

“Auto manufacturers like Daimler are crucial to our strategy because Uber has no experience making cars — and in fact, making cars is really hard,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick says in a blog post. “This became very clear to me after I visited an auto manufacturing plant and saw how much effort goes into designing, testing and building cars. That’s why instead of building them ourselves, we want to partner with the best auto manufacturers in the world.”

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Uber

31
Jan

Pandora’s radio data now included in Billboard Hot 100


Despite recent layoffs and the fact that it only launched a streaming service last month, Pandora is a giant player in the internet radio market. Billboard unveiled a partnership with the service for its Hot 100 chart, and says it immediately impacted 35 songs. It pushed nine of those up by five or more spots in the rankings, including Sex With Me from Rihanna and Rob $tone’s Chill Bill, which leaped 10 places. Lady Gaga’s Million Reasons, meanwhile, is now on the Hot 100 thanks to Pandora, Billboard says.

Though Pandora recently launched a $10 Premium streaming service based on its Rdio acquisition, it won’t be available to the public until later this year. Still, it has a very consequential 78 million users and 4.3 million subscribers to its $5 Pandora Plus (not-on-demand) radio service. “Pandora is now the number one radio station in 87 US markets and represents roughly 10 percent of all radio listening,” says Pandora CEO Tim Westergren.

That’s why Pandora had such an immediate impact, even services with many more subscribers like Spotify and Apple Music already affect the chart. Pandora data will also be included in Billboard’s streaming and formula-based charts, including country, rock, R&B/Hip-Hop, Rap and Dance/Electronica.

Despite the boost, Pandora announced earlier this month that it had laid off 7 percent of its workforce, due to a big increase in competition from Apple Music, Spotify and other services. On top of the $75 million spent on Rdio, it also completely revamped its site late last year and is no doubt spending big to launch Pandora Premium streaming. The company is reportedly looking for a buyer, with Sirius XM rumored to be the leading candidate so far. It may be able to take some hope from Tidal, which just sold a big chunk of itself to Sprint for a reported $200 million.

Source: Billboard

31
Jan

Shell to start installing EV chargers in UK petrol stations


The UK’s EV charging infrastructure continues to grow thanks to a few dedicated players, but the likes of Tesla and nemesis Ecotricity will be joined by an unlikely newcomer later this year. Petrol pusher Shell has confirmed plans to add EV charging points to some UK filling stations — a move the company has been thinking about since last year. Speaking to the Financial Times, Shell director John Abbott implied denser, urban areas were highest on the to-do list, and a spokesperson told us specific info on sites will be shared ahead of the first installations, which are expected before summer this year.

With these first steps towards creating an EV charging network of its own, Shell is preparing for a future where emissions-free vehicles outnumber today’s gas-guzzlers — quite the statement for the oil giant and one of the world’s biggest companies. Shell will still make money from filling cars up with electricity instead of petrol, of course, but savvy Abbott has spotted a bonus revenue stream: Selling coffee and sandwiches to drivers waiting around for enough juice to get home.

Via: Gizmodo

Source: The Financial Times

31
Jan

Comcast’s Xfinity TV app for Roku starts beta testing


It’s been nearly a year since Comcast announced work on its “Xfinity TV partner app” for Roku and Samsung, and now the Roku version is ready for testing. The Xfinity TV beta app is now available in the channel store, with access to “live and on demand programming, including local broadcast and Public Educational and Governmental channels, as well as their cloud DVR recordings.” According to Comcast, this test is so it can check out the performance and add features, before the official launch happens later this year.

Comcast X1 guide on Roku

Customers should expect their full in-home cable experience, just delivered over Comcast’s “locally managed network” as IPTV instead of the traditional QAM broadcasting. That locally managed network bit also means that whatever you’re watching on Roku, doesn’t count against Comcast’s recently-expanded 1TB cap.

It does, however, mean that you’ll need a “compatible IP gateway” for access, which Comcast says it will make available soon for cable-only customers who don’t already have its modem. You’ll also need a cable subscription, of course, so this isn’t really a solution for cord-cutters (yet) like the one Time Warner Cable is testing in New York City.

Another interesting wrinkle for this app is the changing world around it. At the time Comcast announced its plans, the FCC was working on a mandate for cable apps that has since been shelved (although not quite killed, yet) by the new commissioner, Ajit Pai. It’s unclear how the newly reformed commission will look upon these efforts as compared to other plans, or what rules it might roll out in the future. Still, the new leadership appears to be more inclined to agree with Comcast’s view that a “government technical mandate” is unnecessary.

Comcast main screen on Roku

At launch, the beta app will work on recent Roku devices including the Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Streaming Stick (model 3600), Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+, Roku Ultra, Roku 4 (model 4400), Roku 3 (model 4230 and 4200), and Roku 2 (model 4210), while support for older hardware could come before the official launch. Check the Roku store now to install and try it out.

31
Jan

Nintendo kills the Wii U, at least in Japan


Nintendo has quietly updated its Japanese website to say that production of the Wii U, at least domestically, has ended. As spotted by Kotaku, the listings for the console now include the phrase “Production End (Within Japan.)” We’ve known since last November that executives were sharpening the axe, but not when they’d actually swing it. Either way, if you’ve been holding out on buying a Wii U, it’s probably worth getting a wriggle on.

The Wii U wasn’t a bad console by any means, but it never made as much of an impression with the public as its older sibling. After all, the Wii sold upwards of 101 million units, while the Wii U, as of the end of 2016, barely scraped 13.6 million. With the Switch landing globally on March 3rd, it’s clear that the company wants to usher off its less successful device now as to not draw attention from its replacement. Although, interestingly, the Wii wasn’t killed off until almost a year after its successor had launched — another ignominy the Wii U will have to put up with.

Via: Kotaku

Source: Nintendo Japan

31
Jan

iOS 10.3 Beta Says 32-Bit Legacy Apps Will Not Work With Future Versions of iOS


Since iOS 10.1, when a user opens an old 32-bit app on a newer iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, Apple has reinstated a warning that the app may slow down the device until the developer updates it to improve its compatibility. The apps are still fully usable, however, despite the possible performance issues.

On iOS 10.3 beta, Apple has tweaked the wording of that warning to note that 32-bit apps “will not work with future versions of iOS,” suggesting that iOS 11 could be the first software update to support 64-bit apps only. “Future versions” is unsurprisingly vague, however, so the exact timeline remains unclear.

Apple has supported 64-bit apps since the iPhone 5s launched in September 2013. The company required that all new apps support 64-bit architecture as of February 2015, and all updated apps since June 2015, but a number of older 32-bit apps that have not been updated in years remain available on the App Store.

iOS devices with a 64-bit chip include the iPhone 5s and newer, iPad Air and newer, iPad mini 2 and newer, and sixth-generation iPod touch.

In September, Apple said it would begin removing problematic and abandoned apps from the App Store, including those that no longer function as intended or follow current review guidelines, and others lacking compatibility updates for a long time. By October, it was reported some 50,000 apps had already been removed.

Related Roundup: iOS 10
Tag: App Store
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31
Jan

Twelve South Debuts ‘MagicBridge’ to Combine Apple Magic Keyboard With Magic Trackpad 2


Twelve South today launched the “MagicBridge,” an accessory that combines Apple’s Magic Keyboard with a Magic Trackpad 2 into one connected control surface, letting users “type and swipe more efficiently,” according to the company. The versatile accessory supports orientations for both left-handed and right-handed users.

MagicBridge has cutouts in the back for the on/off toggles and Lightning connectors of Apple’s typing and trackpad accessories. The MagicBridge itself is made up of white polycarbonate to match the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad, with silicone pads on the inside to protect each when they’re placed in the frame of Twelve South’s accessory.

Ever notice the Wireless Keyboard & Trackpad 2 look like they were supposed to go together? By connecting these profile twins, you’ll create one larger keyboard that’s much easier to use than the smaller pieces by themselves. Also, when your trackpad is predictably beside your keys – you can find it with your fingers without looking down. Touch-typing is now Touch-tracking. Cleaner, faster, more stable control. Now that’s magic.

The MagicBridge is an update to Twelve South’s previous device, called the MagicWand, which connected the original Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad and provided a steeper angle for typing.

Users interested can purchase the MagicBridge today from Twelve South’s website for $34.99.

Tag: Twelve South
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