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25
Oct

Shot on iPhone XR: Real-World Photos and Portraits With Depth Control From New York City


Apple invited MacRumors to New York City this week to pick up an iPhone XR review unit. While there, we spent the day testing its camera and Portrait Mode with Depth Control with help from some volunteer New Yorkers.

The photos below were shot with the iPhone XR’s default Camera app on iOS 12, and are unedited beyond being resized for this gallery. For some photos, we took advantage of standard features of the Camera app, such as Depth Control and manually adjusting the exposure of photos by tapping on a focus point.

While the iPhone XR does not have a telephoto lens like the iPhone XS and XS Max, the single wide-angle lens captures an impressive amount of detail. And with Depth Control, Apple has taken Portrait Mode to a whole new level, resulting in photos of people that are comparable to those shot with a DSLR camera.

We’ll have more impressions about the iPhone XR cameras in the days to come, but after one day of testing, we can safely say that most people should be more than happy with the quality of photos shot on this device.















iPhone XR launches tomorrow, Friday, October 26. Stay tuned to MacRumors for continued coverage of the device.

Related Roundup: iPhone XRTag: Shot on iPhoneBuyer’s Guide: iPhone XR (Buy Now)
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25
Oct

Human Curation Sets Apple News Apart From Algorithm-Focused News Sources Like Google and Facebook


In a new report by The New York Times today, Apple let a reporter take a glimpse inside the human curation process of its Apple News service. The article looks into Apple’s news strategy (which is focusing less on algorithm-led news curation like its rivals), the service’s future integration with Texture magazine subscriptions, and its issues with ad revenue.

Providing context, the NYT explains how the rise of Google and Facebook came with news delivery that was driven in part by algorithms. While this enabled the companies to point users towards millions of articles, boosting clicks and shares and driving traffic to various sites, the process ended up sometimes emphasizing articles that were sensational, misleading, highly partisan, or simply false. Although both Facebook and Google have now highlighted methods to fight back against “fake news,” some view it as too little too late, and now Apple is taking a different approach.

Apple News editor in chief Lauren Kern via NYT
With Apple News, users can select the publishers they like the most, as well as interests like tech or entertainment, and Apple will surface relevant articles every day. The human curation aspect of Apple News comes on the app’s main screen: every top article you see is hand selected every day by the company’s editors. According to Apple News editor in chief Lauren Kern, “There is this deep understanding that a thriving free press is critical for an informed public, and an informed public is critical for a functioning democracy, and that Apple News can play a part in that.”

Following the events of the 2016 presidential election and revelations about Russian spies using algorithm-focused news curation sites to spread misinformation, Apple “remained convinced of the benefits of people.”

“We are responsible for what’s in there,” Roger Rosner, Apple’s chief of apps and Ms. Kern’s boss, said about Apple News. “We’re not just going to let it be a total crazy land.”

Kern joined Apple from New York Magazine, and now leads around 30 journalists located across Sydney, London, New York, and Silicon Valley. Among hundreds of pitches from various publishers, the team picks five stories that sit atop Apple News every day, the top two of which also appear in the Apple News widget.

In the interview, Kern explains that there are just some stories that don’t pass “the smell test,” which has led Apple to avoid covering certain events that were heavily shared across Google News, Facebook, and Twitter. In one example, Apple News did not run a story posted by ABC News concerning the Robert Mueller investigation. As an explanation, Kern explained that the Apple News team’s methods can’t be “baked into an algorithm.”

The main concern brought up in regards to human editors are their potential bias toward certain political coverage. In response, Kern says that bias can be baked into an algorithm’s code, and that humans offer far more subtly in the decision making process of sharing the news.

Ms. Kern criticized the argument that algorithms are the sole way to avoid prejudice because bias can be baked into the algorithm’s code, such as whether it labels news organizations liberal or conservative. She argued that humans — with all their biases — are the only way to avoid bias.

“We’re so much more subtly following the news cycle and what’s important,” she said. “That’s really the only legitimate way to do it at this point.”

Some publishers remain concerned with Apple News’ future, particularly because of Apple’s ad revenue policies. For one, readers on Apple News stay inside of Apple’s app for the most part, curbing ad revenue for the publisher of the article and limiting data from direct clicks to the sites. While publishers can sell ads on their stories in Apple News, most say the process is complicated and that advertiser interest was low because of the lack of consumer data.

Some were optimistic that Apple could be a better partner than other tech giants, but were leery of making the company the portal to their readers. “What Apple giveth, Apple can taketh away,” said Bill Grueskin, a Columbia University journalism professor and a former editor at The Journal, Bloomberg and other publications. Once readers are trained to get their news from Apple, he said, news organizations will realize: “You’re at the mercy of Apple.”

Looking to the future, Apple next plans to integrate a magazine subscription service — acquired through Texture — into Apple News. When asked about Apple potentially reporting the news itself and not just curating it, Apple’s chief of apps Roger Rosner said, “We don’t talk about future plans, but that’s certainly not what we set out to do.” Asked for further clarification, Rosner responded, “Who knows?”

While concerns over ad revenue and the app’s future remain, many publishers were positive about Apple News when asked about their opinion of the service. New York Magazine chief product officer Daniel Hallac noted that traffic from Apple News had doubled since last December, as Facebook dropped and Google remained the dominant source of the site’s traffic. Looking at the growth, Hallac said that he’s “optimistic about Apple News.”

To read the full story, head over to The New York Times: “Apple’s Radical Approach to News: Humans Over Machines”

Tag: Apple News
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25
Oct

Apple Stores in Thailand and Texas Planned for Grand Openings in November


Apple today provided updates on a few retail stores opening soon, including locations in Thailand and Texas (via Storeteller.de). In Thailand, Apple will open a store in the Iconsiam mall, which is described as a mixed-use development that will include two malls, multiple hotels, and residences when it opens on November 9.

Apple Iconsiam will open one day later on November 10 at 10 a.m. local time. The new Bangkok location sits directly on the banks of the Chao Phraya river. This marks Apple’s first retail store in Thailand, and its second in Southeast Asia, following its Singapore location that opened in May.

Apple Iconsiam: Der erste Apple Store in Thailand eröffnet am 10. November am Ufer des Chao Phraya. — https://t.co/eIqskbgNrk #AppleIconsiam #AppleStore pic.twitter.com/CXIFpmFsf0

— Storeteller (@storetellee) October 25, 2018

In the United States, Apple Southlake Town Square in Texas is planned for a grand reopening on November 3 at 10 a.m. local time. The location has been under renovation since April, and when it opens in early November it will gain all of the modernization updates that Apple has been rolling out to many of its older retail locations.

As a few other quick mentions, Apple will have two grand reopenings taking place tomorrow, October 26 in Tokyo and London. Apple Shibuya in Tokyo has been closed for nearly a year for renovations, while Apple Covent Garden in London has been closed for about four months.

Foto-Galerie: Apple Shibuya ist ein kleines Juwel inmitten der Weltstadt Tokio. — https://t.co/YP50RVMLaq #Apple渋谷 #AppleShibuya #AppleStore pic.twitter.com/MRYHqt9TuF

— Storeteller (@storetellee) October 25, 2018

The Covent Garden store will open at 10 a.m. local time Friday morning, while Apple Shibuya will open its doors at 8 a.m. local time. Both locations are seeing grand reopenings just in time for the worldwide launch of the new iPhone XR.

Tags: Thailand, Apple Store
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25
Oct

Deals: eBay Debuts New 10% Off Sitewide Code and Best Buy Launches 2-Day Sale


A few notable sales have kicked off today, starting with eBay’s latest sitewide coupon that’s offering shoppers 10 percent off nearly everything on eBay, excluding as usual: warranties and protection plans, coins and paper money, gift cards and coupons, and real estate.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

The sale lasts for 24 hours and expires at 8 a.m. ET Friday morning, so you can shop around eBay today for any applicable items, add them to your cart (this time, no minimum purchase is necessary), and enter the promo code PICKUPTEN during checkout. The discount will be capped at a maximum value of $100 and apply to the purchase price of eligible items, excluding shipping, handling, and taxes.

The coupon has to be used during a single transaction (which can include multiple items), so each customer only has one chance to get 10 percent off sitewide today. As always, eBay’s sitewide coupon is a great chance to save a bit of money on a vast assortment of products, with essentially all MacBooks, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, Apple TVs, HomePods and more falling under the eligible item list. A good place to start your shopping and check out ideas is on eBay’s Daily Deals tech page.

In another timed sale, Best Buy has opened up a new 2-day sale in early access for My Best Buy members today. Early access for the event lasts until tonight at 11:59 p.m. CT, and afterwards the discounts will be available to all shoppers on Friday.


There are a few Apple-related items in the sale, as well as discounts on 4K TVs, Philips Hue lights, and more. Check out some of the notable deals in the list below, and be sure to head to Best Buy to shop the online-only sale before it ends tomorrow night.

  • MacBook Air – Save up to $150 on select models / as low as $824.99 with Student Deals
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro – Save $100 on select models / as low as $499.99 for 64GB with Student Deals
  • iPhone 6s/6s Plus – Save $50 on a prepaid iPhone 6s model, when you also purchase a Simple Mobile prepaid phone card
  • Insignia – Save $70 on a 55-inch 4K UHD TV / $379.99, down from $449.99
  • Philips Hue – Save 20 percent on select lights / White and Color Ambiance A19 for $39.99, down from $49.99
  • Sony – Save $50 on Extra Bass Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones / $199.99, down from $249.99

You can head to our full Deals Roundup for even more information on the latest sales happening this week.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
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25
Oct

Yahoo agrees to pay $50M damages for biggest-ever data breach


Yahoo has agreed to pay $50 million in damages for a huge security breach in 2013 that affected all three billion of its user accounts globally, the AP reported on Wednesday.

So long as it receives federal court approval next month, the settlement terms of the class action lawsuit will also provide two years of free credit-monitoring services to U.S.- and Israel-based victims of the hack, which is believed to be the biggest data breach ever to have taken place.

The stolen information included names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords, as well as security questions and answers.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Yahoo took three years to disclose details of the data theft, and even then, the true scope of the hack wasn’t properly revealed.

Complicating matters further, the revelation came after Verizon had agreed to buy the web company in a deal worth $4.8 billion. Issues connected with the security breach forced Yahoo to reduce that figure by $350 million.

The settlement, reached this week in a court in San Jose, California, covers around a billion accounts held by an estimated 200 million people in the U.S. and Israel from 2012 through 2016.

Verizon has agreed to pay half of the settlement cost, while Altaba — a firm set up to take on the parts of Yahoo not acquired by Verizon — will pay the rest.

Payout for those affected

Should the court approve the deal, affected users can put in claims for some of the $50 million fund.

“The costs can include such things as identity theft, delayed tax refunds or other problems linked to having had personal information pilfered during the Yahoo break-ins,” the AP said in its report.

For example, Yahoo account holders with documented losses can claim for up to 15 hours of lost time, which at $25 an hour would come to $375. Those unable to document losses can put in claims of up to five hours, or $125, for time spent dealing with the fallout of the hack.

In addition, Yahoo account holders who forked out up to $50 a year for a premium email account will be able to claim a 25 percent refund.

Final approval of the proposed settlement will be considered during a session at the Northern District of California on November 29, 2018, and if it goes through, affected account holders will be notified soon after.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Facebook’s latest data breach could earn Europeans thousands in compensation
  • Facebook warns that third-party apps could have been affected by recent breach
  • Google to shut down Google+ after exposure of 500,000 users’ data
  • If you’re still using Yahoo email, it’s still spying on you
  • Facebook accidentally blocks stories regarding security breach



25
Oct

Boxy shuttles, not cars, will be people’s first taste of autonomous vehicles



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The first self-driving vehicle many people will experience firsthand may not be a car, but rather a public shuttle. While they may not be as sexy as sleek autonomous sports cars zipping down a highway, slower, boxy shuttles present more of a practical–and less risky–self-driving electrified solution to moving people around cities. But these shuttles will confront the same hurdle that all autonomous vehicles will face: a high price tag.

“The price is so high today,” Christophe Sapet, the CEO of French autonomous vehicle company Navya, told Digital Trends. “You can’t imagine how someone could afford $200,000 or $500,000 for a self-driving car.”

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Cities across the globe are installing technology to gather data in the hopes of saving money, becoming cleaner, reducing traffic, and improving urban life. In Digital Trends’ Smart Cities series, we’ll examine how smart cities deal with everything from energy management, to disaster preparedness, to public safety, and what it all means for you.

Instead of selling vehicles for private ownership, Navya’s strategy is to build small, electric autonomous shuttles with a $300,000-plus cost that can be amortized over time by municipalities, campuses, and large corporate parks working on smart city-style projects. The company recently christened a new plant for producing its shuttles in Saline, Michigan, about 40 miles west of Detroit. The factory will initially build shuttles for projects like the one in Candiac, Quebec, and later hopefully expand to produce robotaxis, for a forthcoming pilot in Lyons, France, and even cargo tractors for airports.

Navya already has pilot projects underway in 18 different countries around the world, Sapet told us.

“Most people are ready to accept this kind of transportation,” he said, discussing environments that seem ideally suited to autonomous transportation, such as retirement communities and college campuses. But even with pre-programmed routes and pickup locations, “we are running these vehicles in a very complicated environment,” so there’s a considerable amount of learning still to be done.

“We also need to see how people react to it,” Sapet added. Discussing challenges that include everything from pranksters to vandalism, Sapet noted that these are realities that the new vehicles will have to contend with. Currently, the shuttles, while autonomous, still have human minders onboard who can stop the vehicle in case of trouble, but in the future the goal is to achieve full autonomy.

Driverless-shuttle-service-coming-to-UM-North-Campus-xxl University of Michigan

So, what happens when a passenger misbehaves?

One project Navya is currently running is at the University of Michigan. Contending with boisterous students who have spent the evening in a nearby pub is just one example of situations a shuttle might have to deal with on a college campus. In the future, onboard cameras will alert remote monitors if a passenger gets into trouble or falls asleep on the bus. And technology suppliers like Valeo are already working on systems that can read people’s expressions to determine risk, Sapet said.

Naturally, cities are also concerned about integrating such self-driving electric shuttles into their current transportation systems. Working out such logistics is not an easy matter — meshing them with train schedules, inclement weather, sporting events, holiday traffic. So Navya has partnered with Keolis, which handles such supervisory systems for many cities. Still, Sapet argues its easier than trying to deploy other public transportation systems.

“It takes years and billions of dollars to build out public transportation systems,” he said, such as light rail. “But [autonomous shuttle] is easy to deploy.”

NHTSA puts the brakes on driverless transport

Deploying driverless shuttles is easy, if government regulations can catch up, as another French transportation company recently found out the hard way. Transdev, which is operating self-driving shuttles in a smart community in Florida, was surprised by a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announcement that it wanted the company to stop transporting school children in the smart community of Babcock Ranch in Florida, on Transdev’s EZ10 Generation II driverless shuttle.

Related reading


The history of self-driving cars


Ford’s self-driving cars hit the streets of the nation’s capital


Waymo self-driving cars are now covering 25,000 miles a day


BMW to introduce ‘safe’ fully autonomous driving by 2021 with iNext

In a press release, NHTSA said that having school children on the shuttle was “unlawful,” but such shuttles have been used to transport people of all ages going back to November of 2017, according to Transdev. The new route took a few children on a three-block distance on private roads to the school as part of additional testing. Even though Transdev had not received an official notice from NHTSA, the company said it would suspend the route until proper regulatory issues — if any — had been sorted out.

“It’s the same shuttle we’re running on other routes, and it’s not run by the school,” Lisa Hall, a spokesperson for Babcock Ranch, explained to Digital Trends in a phone interview. “It’s community transportation and not a school bus.”

The shuttle itself only travels at 8 miles an hour, but both Babcock and Transdev said they would work to address any concerns NHTSA might have.

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Using driverless shuttles to attract high-tech, wired residents

As an emerging smart community, Babcock Ranch focuses on sustainable technologies including solar power and healthy living initiatives. “It’s a living lab,” Hall said, who described it as a high-tech, wired community. “Mayberry meets the Jetsons.”

For Babcock, the incentive to participate in such pilot projects as the Transdev shuttle is obvious. “We want to attract multi-generational residents,” Hall said, pointing out that the more leading-edge projects they work on, the more it attracts other high-tech partners to initiate other projects.

The benefit to both communities and companies is the knowledge gained for future deployments. Adapting smart transportation systems to consumer response as well as new technologies is essential, and Babcock and Transdev are looking forward to on-demand shuttles.

Navya’s Sapet pointed out that being able to adapt to new technologies is also essential. “If a new sensor comes out, we can adjust it to our system in less than two months,” Sapet said.

How will communities fund these shuttles?

Communities and municipalities have to figure out new ways of financing and supporting these zero-emission self-driving shuttles. So Navya, for example, works with local governments to address issues on how to finance and insure systems in the new autonomous landscape. The company is working with AXA, the global insurance and asset management firm, to develop insurance solutions tailored to autonomous vehicles.

Of course, smart cities and smart transportation doesn’t just mean smart shuttles and robotaxis.

“We can do this with more than just people,” Sapet said, referring to other potential projects. Deliveries and cargo could also benefit from autonomous electric transportation. And Navya is already working with a partner to handle airport luggage transportation.

In other words, self-driving vehicles may not only help bring safer streets to communities, they could also mean never losing your luggage again.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The Challenges of Driverless Shuttles in Smart Cities
  • Drive.ai brings free, on-demand self-driving car rides to second Texas city
  • Transdev ordered to stop using self-driving shuttles as school buses
  • U.K. on-demand car service plans autonomous vehicles in London by 2021
  • Startup inks ‘world’s largest deal’ for driverless grocery deliveries



25
Oct

Should I upgrade to the new Amazon Echo Plus?


Best answer: The latest Echo Plus offers a significant improvement in sound quality and design over Amazon’s first generation of Alexa-powered speakers. Thanks to multi-speaker support you can upgrade your living room and relocate your older Echo speaker to your kitchen or elsewhere in your home.

Amazon: Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen) ($150)

The Echo Plus is worth it in almost every way

The Echo Plus is the best option for anyone looking for a good wireless speaker that can handle smart home controls with no fuss. While Amazon may lag behind Google in some ways, Alexa has all but perfected the pairing process for new speakers as well as linking and controlling smart home products. As Jerry Hildenbrand explained in his full review of the new Echo Plus, the next smart home product you buy may very well work with Alexa as soon as you plug it in. With the Echo Plus, you get a built-in smart home hub for easily connecting different products. If you bought a first generation Echo Plus you know how easy it is, and if you own an Echo or Echo Dot, it was worth holding over for the second generation.

Anyone who was a fan of Amazon’s first Echo speakers is going to appreciate Amazon’s speaker redesign for round two.

Anyone who was a fan of Amazon’s first Echo speakers is going to appreciate Amazon’s speaker redesign for round two. The first generation speakers were more than capable both as an AI assistant and as a wireless speaker, but they for sure had a cold industrial vibe to them, despite my affinity to those trailblazing tall boys and hockey pucks. The new design is much better suited for putting on display around the home. In some ways, the fabric-wrapped look appears to fall in line with the industry trends set by Google and Apple, but that’s a good thing.

Amazon has also noticeably improved the sound quality, and it’s going to be a significant upgrade from any first-generation Alexa speaker you own. Sure, the new Echo Plus still gets outclassed by a similar-sized Sonos product, but you’re also not playing Sonos prices. You can get a pair bundled with the new Echo Sub for just $329, a heck of a deal for a 2.1 wireless setup compared to the Homepod or Google Home Max.

Our pick

Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen)

amazon-echo-plus-2018-press.jpg

$150 at Amazon

All the best Alexa offers in a stylish new design.

The new Echo Plus is a great starting point for anyone interested in home automation, and a perfect upgrade for any existing Alexa setup.

Wireless stereo system for less

Echo Sub Bundle with 2 Echo Plus (2nd Gen)

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$329 at Amazon

Upgrade your stereo setup with Alexa.

If you’ve been eyeing a Sonos setup but are still put off by the sticker shock, this Amazon Echo Sub bundle is a much more affordable option that also doubles as a smart home hub.

25
Oct

Best all-around cases for the new Google Pixel 3


The Google Pixel 3 is here, and if you’re in the market for a solid Android phone, it’s definitely one of the better ones you can get. The Pixel 3 is a good-looking phone, but thanks to its all-glass back, it’s not the most sturdy you’ll find. Whether you want to keep it protected or just add some pizazz, these are the best Pixel 3 cases you can get.

Affordable and slim

Vinve Carbon Fiber TPU Case

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Vinve’s Pixel 3 case offers great protection while still keeping the phone nice and slim. The TPU material is soft to the touch while offering lots of grip and the subtle pattern at the top and bottom is a really nice touch. You’ve also got your choice of Black, Blue, Gray, and Red.

$8 at Amazon

Lightweight companion

Spigen Thin Fit

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Want to keep your Pixel 3 looking nice without adding too much bulk? The Spigen Thin Fit case is a perfect choice. You’ve got solid coverage against regular wear and tear and accidental drops, but keep in mind that the top and bottom frame of the phone are left uncovered in the name of thinness.

$12 at Amazon

Clearly a good choice

MoKo Clear Case

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If you want to show off your new Pixel 3 without running the risk of breaking it, MoKo’s clear case is absolutely worth checking out. You’ve got full 360-degree protection, a soft TPU material that adds a lot of grip, and precise cutouts for the charging port, camera, and speakers.

$8 at Amazon

All-around champ

Spigen Neo Hybrid

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$14 at Amazon

The Spigen Neo Hybrid is one of the best cases to ever exist. We gave it an AC Choice Award for the Google Pixel 2, and with the Pixel 3, it’s just as good. There are two colors (Gunmetal and Burgundy), and the two-tone design is absolutely gorgeous.

Fabricy goodness

Google Fabric Case

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$40 at Google Store

Google introduced its fabric cases last year with the Pixel 2 series and is bringing it back for another round with the Pixel 3. There are multiple fabric designs to choose from, each with its one distinct look. These cases are on the pricey side, but they’re well, well worth it.

Dual-layer coverage

ASMART Drop Protection Case

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$8 at Amazon

ASMART’s case strikes a nice middle-ground of offering ample protection without being too bulky. The dual-layer design consists of a TPU inner case and a hard outer shell that works to keep your phone safe no matter what. AMSART also goes the extra mile with a lifetime warranty to protect your purchase.

Unique design

Ringke Fusion-X

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$10 at Amazon

The Ringke Fusion-X is probably one of the more unique-looking cases you’ll find for the Pixel 3. The impact resistant back bumper safeguards the phone against unwanted drops and bumps while the special Anti-Cling Dot Matrix tech helps to keep fingerprints at bay.

Like nothing’s there

Anccer Colorful Series

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$13 at Amazon

There are slim cases, and then there’s the Anccer Colorful Series. This line of cases proves to be the best year after year for people that want some added protection while adding virtually no bulk. The case is just 0.3mm thin and comes in a total of nine stunning colors.

Guarded against everything

Spigen Tough Armor

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$17 at Amazon

Are slim cases not your jam? We recommend looking at Spigen’s Tough Armor case. This case offers maximum durability without being overly bulky, and it’s a combination that’s darn near perfect. The ergonomic design is easy to hold and the kickstand on the back is a really welcome touch.

Eye-catching

Digital Hutty Dual Layer

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$11 at Amazon

Want your Pixel 3 to really pop? This case from Digital Hutty is a great choice. The yellow/black/white color combo is downright gorgeous, and thanks to the dual layer design, you’ve also got seriously good protection against even the nastiest of drops.

Wallet case

Maxboost Folio Style

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$10 at Amazon

Wallet cases are a great way to simplify your day-to-day carry, and with the Maxboost Folio Style, you can easily use it as a full wallet replacement. There are slots for three debit/credit cards, a side pocket for cash, and the faux leather material looks and feels great without breaking the bank.

Max protection

Poetic Revolution

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$17 at Amazon

For people that need one of the most protective cases out there, the Poetic Revolution is for you. With a built-in screen protector, dust flaps, and a heavy duty TPU bumper, this case keeps the Pixel 3 safe against whatever you throw at it.

No matter your case preference, there’s something out there for you to outfit your Pixel 3 with. My personal favorite is the Spigen Neo Hybrid, but if that’s not your cup of tea, there’s bound to be something else on this list that catches your fancy.

25
Oct

Should you go with the PlayStation Classic or the SNES Classic?


We’re a bunch of nerds and avid video game lovers. We want to enjoy our favorite childhood games in the best way possible.

SNES Classic

Our pick

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$80 at Amazon

Pros

  • Cheaper
  • Includes a never-before-released game
  • Rewind feature
  • Compatible with original controllers
  • Includes AC adapter

Cons

  • Short controller cords

The SNES Classic proves that Nintendo’s older consoles can still hold their own in today’s generation, especially with a never-released game in the mix.

PlayStation Classic

Falls short

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$100 at Best Buy

Pros

  • PlayStation exclusive games
  • Powerful nostalgia

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Fewer games total
  • Fewer features

The PlayStation Classic appeals to loyal fans, but it’s hard to compete with the SNES Classic when it lacks certain features.

What’s the difference?

The SNES Classic by far supports more features than the PlayStation Classic, though both play games with near similar quality on modern televisions. Your brand loyalty could certainly sway your purchase, but terms of the games and features you get for the price, it’s no contest.

Price $80 $100
Dimensions 110mm × 40.5mm × 133mm 149 mm × 33 mm × 105 mm
Includes 2 controllers Yes Yes
Supports rewind feature Yes No
720p resolution support Yes Yes
Compatible with original controllers Yes No
Includes AC adapter Yes No

What these features mean to you

You may be unfamiliar with a few of the above terms and how important they are when it comes to your gaming experience, especially since a lot of them weren’t available on the original consoles.

Rewind feature

The SNES Classic features a rewind mechanic that allows players to rewind their gameplay by about a minute or so in order to rectify past mistakes. The catch to this feature is that you can only rewind based on your game’s last suspend point, which would basically be your last save. The good news is that each game supports up to four suspend points.

Should you decide to load up a saved game and aren’t quite happy with where you are, you can choose exactly where you want to jump back in so long as it is within a certain timeframe before your save.

With the PlayStation Classic, you’re stuck with any mistakes you make, for better or worse.

According to Nintendo, “Players can go back a few minutes in role-playing games such as Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, while action titles such as Super Mario World offer around 40 seconds, ideal for re-trying short segments of gameplay.”

The PlayStation Classic, from what Sony has revealed so far, does not support a rewind feature so you’re stuck with any mistakes you make, for better or worse.

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Compatible with original controllers

For those of us hanging on to our original controllers from back in the day, Nintendo ensured that they can still come in handy. Although the SNES Classic already includes two wired controllers out of the box so you and a friend can play against each other, the SNES Classic is also compatible with the console’s original controllers.

The PlayStation Classic, on the other hand, is not compatible with any original peripheral hardware or accessories.

720p resolution

Here’s where each Classic system has equal footing. Both can upscale a game’s resolution to 720p, which is considered standard high definition. The original systems supported graphics of around 240p.

Because of how old the games are, they also only display with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Despite not being widescreen, the SNES Classic features custom borders that change based on what game you are playing. Sony’s PlayStation Classic appears to only have plain black borders.

AC adapter included

AC adapters are what allow us to power our consoles, similar to what we would use to charge our smartphones. Nintendo’s SNES Classic includes an AC adapter so that there’s no need to buy another separately and pay an additional fee. The PlayStation Classic does not include one, although Sony made sure you were still good to go.

Nintendo’s SNES Classic includes an AC adapter so that there’s no need to buy another separately.

Sony designed the PlayStation Classic so that it only needs a standard USB charger like most smartphones. Odds are that nearly all households will have some type of adapter already on hand that is compatible with the PlayStation Classic, so it’s not a huge deal that it doesn’t come with one. If you don’t, that’s where you’ll need to go out and purchase another. As for the USB cable itself, the PlayStation Classic includes one.

The bottom line

Not only is the SNES Classic cheaper, you’re definitely getting more bang for your buck. The PlayStation Classic has its own allure, especially when accounting for its exclusive games lineup, but it falls short when looking at what the machine can actually do.

SNES Classic

Nintendo’s best

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$80 at Amazon

Super for a reason

Nintendo hit it out of the park when it comes to revitalizing the SNES. Plus you’re getting a never-before-released Star Fox game. What’s not to love?

PlayStation Classic

Falls short

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$100 at Best Buy

Misses the mark

The original PlayStation is arguably one of the most beloved consoles in history, but the PlayStation Classic gives off the aura of a quick cash grab more than anything.

25
Oct

How to Control Your Apple TV Using Your Apple Watch


The Siri Remote that comes with the Apple TV certainly has its critics. Many users find the glass Touch surface maddeningly over-sensitive in the way it registers swipes, which makes navigating onscreen menus a slalom-like experience where you’re constantly having to correct for overshoot.

Not only that, the minimalist design of the Siri Remote isn’t very tactile and there’s no button backlighting, which means once you’ve dimmed the lights it’s almost impossible to know whether you’re even holding it the right way round.

Thankfully, there are alternative (and easier) ways to control your Apple TV. One solution is to use your iPhone, which we’ve written about previously. Another is to use an Apple Watch. Here’s how it’s done.

How to Link Your Apple Watch to your Apple TV

The steps below assume your Apple Watch is running watchOS 5 and that your Apple TV has tvOS 12 installed.

Before you start, make sure your Apple TV and Apple Watch are on the same Wi-Fi network. To do this on Apple TV, launch the Settings app and navigate to Network -> Wi-Fi. Similarly on Apple Watch, launch the Settings app and tap Wi-Fi.
Make sure you’re in the same room as your Apple TV, your Apple TV is on, and you can see the screen on your TV output.
On your Apple Watch, launch the Remote app.

Tap Add Device.
On your Apple Watch, enter the passcode that appears on your Apple TV’s display.You should now see the Remote interface for controlling your Apple TV on your Apple Watch screen.

How to Control Apple TV Using Your Apple Watch

  • Swipe up, down, left, or right to move through the Apple TV menu.
  • Tap to choose the selected item.
  • Tap Menu to go back.
  • Touch and hold to return to the Home screen.
  • Swipe left or right to scrub through media.
  • Tap to pause or resume playback.

If you’re anything like us, you’ll find that swiping your Apple Watch to navigate Apple TV menus is much easier than using the Siri Remote – and you’ll be able to see what you’re doing in the dark. Just remember that as long as your Apple TV is on, you can return to the remote interface on your Apple Watch at any time simply by launching the Remote app.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12, Apple Watch, watchOS 5Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Caution), Apple Watch (Buy Now)
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