Tech News

Final Fantasy 7 remake: trailers, release date, news and features

Latest Tech News - 9 hours 9 min ago

First released in 1997, Final Fantasy 7 immediately cemented its place as one of the best JRPG titles around and introduced a new genre to millions of gamers globally.

Due to the success of Final Fantasy 7 over 20 years ago (and the pleads from die hard fans), Square Enix is releasing a remake. Not only because that seems to be the done thing these days but also because it’s something fans genuinely seemed to want – when the Final Fantasy 7 remake was announced as being in the works at E3 2015, the news was received warmly to say the least.

The path to release hasn’t been smooth for this game, though. After two years in development we’re still not entirely sure when we’ll see the Final Fantasy 7 Remake released. 

With news and rumors still churning around the great wide web but official information still pretty thin on the ground, we’ve gathered up everything we know has been confirmed and all the rumors right here for your perusal.

[Update: Final Fantasy 7 surprised fans when it didn't make any kind of appearance during E3 2018, but director Tetsuya Nomura has been quick to assure them that the game is currently being worked on and isn't just in the early stages during an interview with IGN.]

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? A remake of the popular JRPG Final Fantasy 7 
  • When can I play it? There’s no official release date just yet but it we're hoping 2019
  • What can I play it on? It’s been confirmed the game will come to PS4 first, but it may appear later on PC and Xbox One  
Final Fantasy 7 trailer and screenshots

The first trailer for the game was released on its announcement at E3 2015. The trailer is largely cinematic and you can watch it for yourself below:

A further trailer this time featuring gameplay was revealed at PSX in 2015:

Square Enix has also released a number of screenshots from the game which we've collected together below. 

Final Fantasy 7 release date

The Final Fantasy 7 remake has had something of a troubled development, so unsurprisingly we still don’t have a solid release date. 

It's also very possible that the the game will end up having several release dates, as Square Enix has confirmed the game's story would be told episodically. 

The game has been in the works since 2014 but there have been few significant official updates since the E3 2015 reveal. 

In this time, development of the game has moved from external developer CyberConnect2 to Square Enix’s in-house team. Overhauls like this can cause big delays to a game’s progress but according to Square Enix's Naoki Hamaguchi the decision was made out of a desire to “control quality as well as keeping the schedule stable.”

Things may be further along than we think, however. In an interview with Famitsu  the game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, said that some parts of Final Fantasy 7 such as cutscenes are further along in development than Kingdom Hearts 3. Considering Kingdom Hearts 3 now has a confirmed release date of January 25, 2019, we're hoping to see the Final Fantasy 7 remake in 2019.

Something we do know is that the game will be available to PlayStation 4 players “first” as was promised at its E3 reveal. Saying “first” suggests this isn’t an outright exclusive and that the game will eventually come to Xbox One and PC. However, there was no indication as to how long the agreed exclusivity period would be. 

The recent timed exclusive Rise of the Tomb Raider was exclusive for 11 months on the Xbox One before coming to the PS4, while Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 was exclusive to PS4 for just three months. Given this variation it's hard to say how long FFVII's timed exclusivity might last. 

Final Fantasy 7 news and rumors

Could the release date be a long way off?

The highly-anticipated Final Fantasy 7 remake may not have a confirmed release date just yet but it seems like a safe bet to say that we’re probably not going to see it within the next year.

In fact, according to a recent report from The Lifestream (via Destructoid) we might not see it for another five years. 

Reports of turbulence in the games development emerged around a year ago and if they're true it's likely that they slowed progress somewhat. A recent behind-closed doors conversation between producer Yoshinori Kitase and development lead Naoki Hamaguchi suggests the game could be as far away as 2023.

The conversation apparently took place at a recent Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary celebration event and a translated transcription has been uploaded by a Lifestream user. 

The conversation doesn’t give much solid information in terms of release date or progress but Kitase and Hamaguchi say that they want the Final Fantasy VII Remake to have launched before Final Fantasy’s 35th anniversary in 2023. 

Now, even if this conversation did take place the transcription makes it hard to read any kind of tone from this. It could very well be a joke in reference to the long development process that they also say is now running "smoothly." With no official comment from Square Enix on the matter we say take this with a pinch of salt for now. It's highly likely that we'll hear more about the game's progress and maybe a potential release window during Square Enix's E3 presentation this year. 

It’s a reconstruction, not a shot-to-shot remake 

The Final Fantasy 7 remake will follow the original game’s narrative and feature the iconic characters and locations that fans love. 

Considering it’s so beloved there’s a lot of pressure on Square Enix to not stray too far from the original source material but according to director Tetsuya Nomura it won’t be a completely direct recreation. In an interview with Wired, Nomura said “We're not intending for this to become a one-to-one remake, or just the original Final Fantasy VII with better graphics.”

Nomura has said that he wants the remake to "apply to the current era" and "the current generation of players." He added the caveat that he doesn't "want to change it so much that it's unrecognizable" but it has to be offering something "fresh and new." 

To accommodate modern consoles and gamers, changes will naturally have to be made to the game both in terms of gameplay, mechanics and perhaps even to some elements of the story.

It’s episodic

A significant way the remake is going to differ from the original game is that its story will be told episodically. This is a detail that was confirmed back in December 2015. 

The reasoning behind the decision according to series producer Yoshinori Kitase wrote in a blog post that “a proper HD remake” just wouldn’t fit into one installment and maintain the “same feeling of density of the original.”

“We've seen everyone's comments and reactions to the news that Final Fantasy 7 remake will be a multi-part series and many have speculated correctly as to the reason why we have made this decision,” he said, “If we were to try to fit everything from the original into one remake installment, we would have to cut various parts and create a condensed version of Final Fantasy 7. We knew none of you would have wanted that.

“I hope that by explaining a little more about our design decisions that you can appreciate the size of this project and what we have planned for this remake. Going beyond the scale and depth of the world, narrative and gameplay from the original to deliver something that feels familiar yet new. As I said before, we like delivering surprises.”

Each episode will apparently be its “own unique experience” but as yet we don’t know how many episodes there will be or how they’ll be structured in relation to the original story. 

No more turn-based battles 

Another thing that’s changing from the original game is a move away from turn-based battles. 

In an interview with Famitsu, Nomura said that battles in the remake will be “action-based” rather than command-based. Nomura didn’t go into much more detail with regards to the game’s combat system but it’s widely expected that we’re going to see a formula more similar to Kingdom Hearts. 

This would mean a more active and seamless style of battling involving party members whom the player will be able to switch between. 

Though the loss of turn-based combat will be mourned, a move towards a system like Kingdom Hearts will be more accessible to new players. 

Categories: Tech News

Can the Google Pixel 3 XL outperform a compact camera... or even a DSLR?

Latest Tech News - 10 hours 10 min ago

We reckon Google's new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have the best cameras going on a smartphone right now – and that's some serious bragging rights in phones world. 

But don't take our word for it – the phones are already attracting a good deal of hyperbolic commentary, with influencers boasting that the camera on the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL is so good that their DSLR will soon be gathering dust.

Yes, the camera on the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL is good,– but is it that good? Let's take a slightly more considered look to see where it excels – and why you probably shouldn't be putting your DSLR on eBay just yet.

Sensor size

Even the best marketers at Google are going to struggle with this one. While smartphones may have bulked out in recent years, the actual physical size of their camera sensors is still pretty small compared to those used by most cameras – and that's important, as you'll see below.

In fact, the camera in the Pixel 3 and 3 XL uses a 1/2.55-inch sensor that measures just 5.76 x 4.29mm. That's smaller than the 1/2.3-inch sensors found in budget compacts like the Sony Cyber-shot WX220, which is about a fifth of the cost of the Pixel 3 XL.

So what's the big deal about having a larger sensor? Simply put, it all comes down to image quality

Now compare that to the 1-inch sensors found in a lot of premium compact cameras like the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV or Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II. These measure 13.2 x 8.8mm, which starts to make Google's 1/2.55-inch sensor look pretty small. 

Then compare that to the APS-C sized sensors, measuring 23.6 x 15.6mm, that are found in a lot of DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, and it looks smaller still. 

So what's the big deal about having a larger sensor? Simply put, it all comes down to image quality. The bigger the sensor, the larger the photosites (or pixels) can be, which in turn means superior light-gathering capabilities. 

This means you get images with better detail, broader dynamic range and improved noise control in poor light (essentially, images have less fuzziness and retain more detail). 

Plenty of detail, while dynamic range is pretty good to, though there's a fair bit of fringing where the leaves meet the sky

Google has, however, been clever with the camera in the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and rather than cram 16 or 20 million pixels onto the small sensor, it's capped the resolution at 12.2MP. 

Why is this a good thing? By opting for a relatively modest resolution compared to some smartphone rivals, Google can populate the sensor with larger photosites, improving its light-gathering capabilities as described above. 

This sees the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL deliver the best images we've seen from a smartphone, with levels of sharpening optimized so that your photos look great look great when viewed on a the phone's display. 

Look at the images on a larger screen, though, and they don't have quite the same sparkle, so if ultimate image quality is your main concern, and/or you're planning to print your images, there's no substitute for the larger sensors offered by dedicated cameras.

Lens and depth of field

Rather than adorning its phones with multiple lenses hooked up to different sensors, like the Huawei Mate 20, Google has also played it pretty safe with the single rear-facing camera lens on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. 

The fixed lens has a focal length of about 27mm, which offers a wide-angle field of view – so great for packing lots in the frame for group shots, landscapes and architecture, but not so good for flattering portraits, as it distorts facial features.

To get around this, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL feature a digital zoom, but unlike digital zooms on compact cameras, which simply sees the imaging area on the sensor cropped and image quality degrade, Google has equipped the camera with some clever tech called Super Res Zoom.

This uses a dedicated Pixel Visual Core chip along with machine-learning software to enable the camera to deliver improved results when you zoom in

This uses a dedicated Pixel Visual Core chip along with machine-learning software to enable the camera to deliver improved results when you zoom in – far better than we were expecting. While there's no substitute for an optical zoom, it's nonetheless very impressive.

The lens on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL also has a 'fast' maximum aperture of f/1.8, which helps to channel more light onto the sensor, making it that bit easier to shoot in low light as it enables you to keep shutter speeds moderately fast (hence a 'fast' aperture); there's also a built-in optical image stabilization system to help out.

But remember that small sensor? As the sensor size decreases, the depth of field will increase for a given aperture. So while it's possible to shoot portraits and other images with beautifully smooth background blur, or bokeh, at f/1.8 on a DSLR or mirrorless camera, it's pretty much impossible to do this on a smartphone.

The Google Pixel 3 XL's Portrait Mode does a decent job of blurring the background to make your subject more prominent in the frame

To get around this problem, smartphone engineers have come up with some very clever software solutions, and on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL this solution is called Portrait Mode. Not only does the lens zoom in automatically to help deliver a more flattering focal length for portraits, but when you take a photo the camera attempts to analyze the scene and blur the background appropriately. 

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL do a very solid job here, rendering some very smooth and natural-looking transitions between in-focus and out of focus areas. While certainly delivering the most aesthetically pleasing results among smartphones offering this feature, it's not foolproof, struggling with some scenes, but for quick snaps you'll be more than happy with the results. 

Focusing

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL use a dual-pixel phase-detection focusing system, and we found focusing to be generally very good. 

Tap-to-focus anywhere on the screen and the camera will lock on to the subject. While not quite instant, focusing speeds are pretty quick, and even in poor light we found that the camera would lock on without 'hunting' for focus. 

Surprisingly, the system is also pretty handy when it comes to focus tracking. Tap on the subject you want to focus on, and providing they don't move too erratically or quickly, it'll maintain focus on them.

More sophisticated compacts, like the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI, will do a better job, while the best DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are better still, but compared to some entry-level DSLRs and mirrorless cameras the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL won't embarrass themselves in this department. 

Handling

The size and shape of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL don't lend themselves to the phones being naturally used as a camera, but this isn't unique to Google's phones – it's a result of the large and thin designs of most modern smartphones. 

With no dedicated handgrip and a super-smooth finish, it's tricky to get a decent grip when holding the phone to take a photo (especially with the larger Pixel 3 XL). It just feels a bit cumbersome and unnatural, while holding it with two hands can often see fingers creep into shot.

With core shooting controls ring-fenced, it can be tricky to introduce slow shutter speeds for creative shooting. We had to rely on poor light to get this shot

 As on any smartphone you don't have dedicated buttons or other controls for adjusting settings (you can, though, press the volume rocker to take a shot); of course, this streamlined approach will be part of the attraction for users who simply want to press a button and walk away with a decent shot, but for those who want to flex their creative muscles it can be a bit limiting.

Core camera settings are also ring-fenced, with just the option to tinker with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL's white balance setting. It's not possible to dive into the settings and select a slow shutter speed for some creative blur for instance, leaving the outcome of the shot pretty much in the hands of the camera.

Connectivity

The ability to easily edit and share images is one of the appeals of smartphone photography

This area is where the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and smartphones in general, have really got the upper hand over traditional cameras. The ability to take a shot, edit it and then share it quickly is perhaps the key reason why smartphone photography has become so popular.

Try doing that with a camera. Even when using some of the newer cameras, which offer a low-energy Bluetooth connection (which maintains a constant connection between the camera and your smart device), the process of transferring and sharing you pictures can still feel sluggish and laborious. 

And there's the added bonus that all the images you take with your Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are uploaded to the cloud and synced to your Google Photos account, with unlimited online storage.

Verdict

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL do a lot of things very well. Connectivity is their obvious strong suit, but Google's clever approach to overcoming the physical constraints of smartphone cameras – particularly the advances it's made in machine learning – is impressive. Usability is another plus, with a clean, clutter-free design making the interfaces on many compact cameras look pretty dated. 

If you're already into photography, then you can be safe in the knowledge that the camera in the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will deliver best-in-class images when you want to leave your main camera at home. 

And if the camera on the Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL is likely to be your only camera, we reckon you'll be excited by some of the pictures you're able to take. You shouldn't expect the results to be comparable to those from premium compacts, DSLRs or mirrorless cameras – but if your smartphone inspires you to get more creative with your photography, then that can only be a good thing.

Categories: Tech News

BT's best fibre broadband deal now comes with a free Fitbit Charge 3

Latest Tech News - 11 hours 5 min ago

BT forever seems to be conjuring up new and inventive ways to try and get your internet business. There's usually a pre-paid credit card thrown in, you'll frequently see free set-up and BT Sport subscriptions and sometimes, like now, there'll be a cheeky little freebie included with its broadband deals to persuade you BT's way.

And this is a good'n. The £129.99 Fitbit Charge 3 has only just become available to buy, but BT has clearly got hold of a job lot to give away with its fibre broadband deals. So that includes everything from its entry-level Fibre Essential for £29.99 per month, up to its 67Mb Superfast Fibre 2 at £41.99 per month.

Click here to get hold of BT Broadband and a free Fitbit Charge 3

A free wearable is certainly a boon, but that's not all you get. BT Broadband is still running its Reward Card giveaway as well, with the value currently available up to £90. You can spend it online or instore anywhere that accepts Mastercard.

keep reading to find out about our very favourite BT Broadband deal, and there's some added information about that Fitbit strap as well.

BT's best value fibre broadband deal: What is a BT Reward Card?

The Reward Card that BT sends out is a pre-paid credit card that you can use anywhere that accepts Mastercard. In short, that's around a million shops, cafes and restaurants around the world, so you shouldn't find it difficult to find places to spend, spend, spend.

It's an old-fashioned chip and pin card, rather than contactless. But do make sure that you claim your Reward Card within three months of installation, otherwise you'll lose out on all that cash.

Is the Fitbit Charge 3 any good?

The Fitbit Charge 3 is all new, which means a 2018-ified design and features set-up. So we're talking about a premium-feel aluminium body (with charcoal black or rose gold) and complete touchscreen interface. There are no physical buttons on the Fitbit Charge 3.

But if you're more bothered about substance than style, then you'll want to know about the fitness features. They are plentiful. So on top of what you'd expect - heart rate tracking, workouts, guided breathing, etc - there's now added swim tracking and custom workouts for 15 different sports in all. And there are a lot more smartwatch style features here, too, with improved notifications and downloadable apps.

Today's best broadband deals
Categories: Tech News

Preventing data loss in a perilous digital age

Latest Tech News - 12 hours 26 min ago

After decades of an eager and unbridled embrace of the online ecosystem, companies and consumers are becoming painfully aware of the vulnerabilities associated with the digital age. A superfluous series of high-profile data breaches, cases of corporate mismanagement, and tragic insider thefts are causing many people to question the efficacy of our relationship with the internet and its abundance of immersive platforms. 

As a result, positive brand awareness is quickly becoming intertwined with competent data protection, and, as expected, many companies are struggling in this regard. 

Big data has big problems

For instance, in March, Facebook launched an ambitious public relations campaign intended to help the company restore its damaged reputation after the often-reported Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed that an unprecedented level of mismanagement and ignorance allowed a third-party to siphon the personal data of 87 million users.

To support the initiative, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, released a cogent statement explaining, “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you.” 

Nevertheless, the company closed out September with news of yet another data breach, this time compromising 50 million accounts. Publicly, Facebook says that it’s prioritizing data security, but protecting their users’ data continually proves challenging. 

To be sure, Facebook is not alone. Yahoo, Equifax, Under Armour, and even the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. electrical grid have endured network breaches.

For all their problematic peculiarities, each of these incidences share a common theme. They were perpetrated by malicious but external bad actors. Unfortunately, these and other organizations are also frequently plagued by numerous internal risks that threaten to undermine data security. Internal threats like accidental sharing or intentional data theft actually lead to more data loss than exploitation of software vulnerabilities and external threats combined.

What’s more, since social media conglomerates aren’t the only companies with significant amounts of data to protect, this shifting and increasingly perilous digital landscape can seem daunting for companies consider. 

A problem with a solution

Fortunately, the current data loss prevention crisis is not a problem without a solution. In fact, there are tangible steps that any company can take to secure their data, protect their brand, and promote their bottom line. 

Data visibility

According to Forbes, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day, a swelling number that is only growing as the internet becomes more ingrained in every platform, service, and activity. Companies contribute a significant share of that data, and they are responsible for managing and securing their portion. 

Everything from the plethora of emails sent each day to the sensitive customer information that underpins modern platforms collectively creates this incredible amount of data, and companies need visibility into this information to protect its integrity. 

It’s common for many employees to transfer data across multiple platforms through several different access points. Data visibility initiatives can provide companies with a real-time snapshot of their data landscape and security vulnerabilities, allowing them to make informed and immediate decisions to protect their data. 

Nobody can afford to be ignorant about their data, and a software empowered snapshot can help IT administrators best understand and respond to their active data environment.

Activity monitoring

User activity monitoring software can provide companies with a more detailed view of user activity with sensitive data, with the ability to identify usage patterns, unintentional misuse, and intentional data exfiltration attempts. 

As a result, creating, implementing, and monitoring company policies regarding technology use and data appropriation leveraging employee monitoring software is a highly effective way for organizations to protect their information against insider threats. 

In a data environment where compromise can be catastrophic, all avenues for data protection should be available to IT administrators. 

User behavior analytics

Advancements in machine learning are making it possible to combine data visibility and activity monitoring activities into a comprehensive user behavior assessment. 

When employees and team members become insider threats, user behavior analytics can indicate behavioral changes and other markers that can help identify and address potential threats. Real-time identification allows companies to pursue quick investigations to mitigate the risk of intentional or accidental data theft. 

A differentiating factor

Increasingly, companies can differentiate their business model and their brand by providing a secure and intelligent data monitoring apparatus. It can be difficult or impossible to repair a brand’s image after a data breach – look no further than Facebook’s public relations nightmare and their subsequent $120 billion devaluation – but companies that secure their information on the front end can benefit from the inverses effect. They can achieve a brand boost predicated on integrity and intentionality. 

The current technological landscape may be perilous, but there are clear steps that organizations can take to better protect their data and support their customers, employees, and bottom lines.

Isaac Kohen, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Teramind 

Categories: Tech News

Days Gone delayed until April 2019 'for further polish'

Latest Tech News - 12 hours 58 min ago

Sony has announced its upcoming zombie survival horror Days Gone has been delayed until April 2019. 

Days Gone was originally due to release on February 22 2019 ( the same day as Crackdown 3 and Anthem). However, in a recent blog post, Sony revealed it has pushed the release date back from the "crowded February timeframe" to April 26, 2019 to "further polish" the title.

Sony confirmed the release Days Gone at E3 2018. The open-world zombie apocalypse sees you take on the role of a drifter biker trying to survive the post-apocalyptic - including unpredictable weather, attacks from other human factions, infected wildlife and roaming Freakers.

Contending with a high-profile title such as Anthem was always going to be difficult, so it seems Sony has decided it's a battle it isn't willing to take.

Categories: Tech News

Operators may have to subsidise 'expensive' 5G smartphones

Latest Tech News - 13 hours 56 min ago

Mobile operators may have to subsidise the first wave of 5G smartphones in order to encourage early adoption of next-generation networks due to high cost and the absence of new use cases, analysts have claimed.

Verizon launched the world’s first 5G network earlier this month, offering Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband to a number of major US cities. However, most operators are waiting until the first compatible handsets arrive at some point in 2019.

Strategy Analytics says early devices will be larger and have greater power demands than current generation smartphones and will only offer minimal performance gains for existing applications.

5G smartphones

Over time, the faster speeds, greater capacity and lower latency of 5G will enable new use cases such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and a raft of business applications. But the only major selling point in the embryonic stage of 5G will be faster mobile broadband.

Meanwhile the first 5G smartphones are expected to cost more than $1,000, with premium handsets costing much more.

While Apple has managed to break the mental barrier of paying more than £1,000 for a smartphone with the iPhone X, Ken Hyers, director for emerging device strategies at Strategy Analytics, says the lack of a compelling reason to upgrade combined with high prices will stifle adoption.

“This isn't to say that 5G is not worth it for consumers - clearly it will be,” he said. “But as with previous cellular generations, there will be teething issues during the transition period. 5G smartphones will get noticeably better, adding new features such as faster processors, better AI and foldable displays. Services and applications will appear that will take advantage of faster speeds and lower latency.

Price challenge

“But a big stumbling block for 5G phones will remain: price. In a market environment where phone replacement cycles are lengthening due to higher prices and a perceived slowing of innovation, it will be a tough sell to get consumers to pay more for a phone that offers fewer obvious benefits for customers.”

The cost of 5G handsets will eventually come down as the technology improves, sales figures rise, and manufacturers achieve economies of scale, but Hyers says early handsets will be out of reach in key markets like China unless something is done.

“To kick-start 5G smartphone sales carriers will be forced to employ subsidies in order to bring customers onto their 5G networks. Phone vendors will be pressured to meet price points for their 5G devices that will leave them with razor-thin margins.”

“By 2025 half of all smartphones sold will be 5G. But in the near term there will be challenges for device makers as they navigate the transition to 5G. In every previous generation change at least one major phone maker has stumbled badly, and this generation will be no different.”

Categories: Tech News

Radionomy releases Winamp 5.8 early after leak, and hints at big changes ahead

Latest Tech News - 13 hours 58 min ago

Following an unauthorized leak, Radionomy has made the long-awaited Winamp 5.8 available to download ahead of schedule.

Earlier this week, Radionomy revealed that it would be re-launching the venerable media player in 2019 for both desktop and mobile. It also announced a forthcoming minor update to the existing player, which was still available to download, but had been untouched since 2014.

Shortly after the news broke, a beta version of the update began circulating the internet. To avoid eager Winamp fans downloading an illegitimate copy that might contain malicious software, the developer pushed the release forward and is encouraging users to only download the software from the official site.

A whole platform

Radionomy has given Winamp's website a new lick of paint, too - the most interesting part of which is a new tagline at the very bottom of the homepage: "cast, play, sell". This implies that the new Winamp will be more than just an app for streaming and playing content. Instead, it might be a whole platform, built for creators as well as listeners - a little like Spotify.

It has also added a newsletter registration form, allowing fans to sign up for updates on the project. "Our teams are currently working hard on Winamp with the intention to make it a player of today while preserving what makes it so special," the company says. "In other words, a complete listening experience. Therefore, we can say it: no llamas will be hurt in the process but it’s going to whip some asses!"

Via Techdows

Categories: Tech News

Stream F1 live: how to watch the United States Grand Prix 2018 online from anywhere

Latest Tech News - 14 hours 8 sec ago

Could this be the weekend when Lewis Hamilton lifts his fifth F1 World Championship - only the third man in history to do so? Well if the Unites States Grand Prix goes as well for the Mercedes man as the last few outings, then it's a distinct possibility. And we'll tell you how to stream F1 live - even for FREE in the UK and some other regions - wherever you are in the world.

We won't go through all the possible permutations here, but Sunday night could see an effectively premature end to the 2018 F1 season in the United States - just like 2015 all over again. Basically if Hamilton wins and Sebastian Vettel only manages third, it's a done deal. In fact, any result that ends up with Hamilton grabbing an eight point advantage over his bitter rival means that Hamilton will officially retain his crown.

And the omens are pretty good for the Brit. He's won five of the six United States Grand Prix previously held at the Circuit of Americas, so he knows how to hold up his end of the bargain in Texas. The other person to win here since 2012? That man Vettel, of course.

It's a tall order at the United States Grand Prix for Vettel to claw back the championship, but thankfully watching it is super straightforward for you and on pretty much any device. And the best thing about it...it's possible to do so absolutely free of charge. Read on to find out how to stream F1 live.

How to watch the Unites States Grand Prix anywhere in the world

If you don't have easy access to watch the Grand Prix online in your country, the best way to watch the FREE UK coverage is to download and install a VPN service. This effectively tricks your computer into thinking that it's in another country. It's really easy to do, and works for loads of sporting events where live streams may not be readily available where you are:

How to stream F1 live in the UK for free:

How to watch United States Grand Prix in the US:

How to get an F1 live stream in Australia

Photos courtesy of Formula1.com

Categories: Tech News

iPad Pro 2018 might have a USB-C port according to ever-more sources

Latest Tech News - 14 hours 8 min ago

We’re expecting lots from the iPad Pro 2018, but one thing we wouldn’t have expected is for Apple to include a USB-C port on the slate, given that it’s a fan of proprietary charging ports. However, it’s looking increasingly likely that a USB-C port will indeed be present, with the latest evidence coming from various accessory makers.

Japanese technology news website Macotakara spoke to a range of accessory makers at the Global Sources Mobile Electronics trade show in Hong Kong, and was told the iPad Pro 2018 would have a USB-C port rather than a Lightning port.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of a switch to USB-C either, with respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo saying the same, while another source has said that a USB-C port will be used to allow the iPad Pro 2018 to support 4K external screens.

All that said, we’d still take these claims with a huge dose of salt, because it seems so at odds with Apple’s usual approach to hardware, and because Apple is so invested in Lightning and the accessories that work with it.

The recent iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR all have a Lightning port, so it seems odd that Apple would offer a different port on its tablet range.

Same screen sizes in smaller shells

The same sources speaking to Macotakara also disclosed potential dimensions for the upcoming iPads. Apparently the iPad Pro 10.5 (2018) will be 247.64 x 178.52mm and the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) will be 280.66 x 215mm.

In the case of the 12.9-inch model those are dimensions we’ve heard before, and in both cases that would make them smaller than their predecessors. That’s no surprise though, as based on leaked images we’re expecting far smaller bezels this year.

We don’t have long to wait before we’ll get an official look at the iPad Pro 2018 range, as Apple is holding an event on October 30, so we’ll know the truth soon.

Via Phone Arena

Categories: Tech News

Canon will reportedly launch two new EOS R mirrorless cameras in 2019

Latest Tech News - 14 hours 21 min ago

Following the launch of Canon's first full-frame mirrorless camera, the EOS R, in September, we expect Canon's range of full-frame mirrorless cameras to grow fairly quickly in the next year.

CanonRumors.com is reporting that it's been told we're likely to see two new EOS R series bodies in 2019. The first will drop in below the current EOS R, offering a more affordable route into Canon's new full-frame mirrorless system.

Interestingly there have been rumors that we could see an EOS R series camera with an APS-C sensor, which would likely also be an affordable option – although that's a a curious one, as Canon already has its EOS M range of APS-C mirrorless cameras, so we can't see the advantage of releasing an APS-C EOS R camera unless Canon is going to throw all its weight behind its EOS R line and new RF lens mount.

We can't see this happening, though, as the EOS M line is too well established (although it could do with more lenses) to simply drop it. More likely we'll see something like a 24MP full-frame sensor in an entry-level EOS R model. 

The second new mirrorless body will be a professional-series camera coming later in 2019. This might be in time for the Rugby World Cup (which is taking place in Japan), or more likely later, in readiness for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

CanonRumors reckons it could be a baby EOS-1D X Mark II built for speed and video, while there have also been rumors of a high-megapixel body meant for studio and landscape work to replace the 50MP EOS 5DS DSLR. 

Canon isn't forgetting about refreshing DSLRs either, with CanonRumors suggesting that we could see at least four new DSLR bodies in 2019.

To make sure you're up to date with all the latest camera rumors, make sure you keep an eye on our regularly updated camera rumors guide.

Categories: Tech News

Save 10% off everything with this ebay voucher code - expires at 8pm!

Latest Tech News - 14 hours 22 min ago

Fancy treating yourself to something nice this weekend? Well be sure to take this ebay voucher code with you before you head out. You have until 8pm tonight to save 10% on pretty much anything at ebay.

The only areas you can't use it on are property and vehicle categories. Which is standard practice for these promotions.

  • Voucher code: PUMPKINS
  • Use at: ebay.co.uk
  • Expires: October 19 10pm

There's a minimum spend of £20, with a maximum discount of £50. So basically, you can knock 10% off up to £500 worth of goods.

As long as your basket total is over £20, you're good to go. We just tested it on a few games together (one of them was under £20) and it knocked 10% off the lot. Just be sure to get everything in your basket in a single transaction as you can only use the code once

Here's a link to the full T&Cs if you want all the details, but it's fairly standard ebay voucher code material. Don't forget, plenty of sellers are selling brand new products on ebay, we've come a long way from the site being a place known for mainly selling second-hand goods. Many big name stores have official ebay pages too. Be sure to read item descriptions to make sure you're getting new products (if you only want new), or you can filter out used items in search results too. We'd also apply the 'Buy it now' filter to avoid looking at auctions that don't finish on time.

If you want a head start on tracking down a specific type of deal, we've included links to some of our favourite categories below:

Categories: Tech News

The path from predictive to prescriptive analytics

Latest Tech News - 14 hours 26 min ago

As enterprises strive for ways to better interpret data, they traditionally have relied on predictive analytics. However, as business becomes more competitive, organizations have realized they need to tap into even deeper insights and are beginning to look at the next level. By going beyond predictive analytics to leverage more advanced tools, such as prescriptive analytics, enterprises are able to leverage recommended actions that address uncovered insights.

What is traditional analytics and what is advanced analytics? Is there a natural progression toward advanced or are they different deployments?

The promise of analytics has always been about freedom of information and knowledge. The challenge has been how to glean meaningful knowledge from data and present it to an end user in a way they can understand and use to make critical business decisions in a timely manner. 

Traditional analytics has focused on providing humans with tools to assist us with understanding data so we can become the interpreters of data. Human minds are very bad at detecting trends and patterns from raw data, so we create tools that give us the ability to manipulate data into visual constructs that the brain can better interpret. The next level, advanced analytics, gives us new solutions with advanced statistical techniques to uncover patterns in the data and serve up results to the end, rather than relying on humans to build visualizations (which can be subject to bias). 

There is a natural progression towards advanced analytics – it is a journey that does not have to be on separate deployments. In fact, it is enhanced by having it on the same deployment, and embedding it in a platform that brings together data visualization, planning, insight, and steering/oversight functions. 

Business analysts who start this journey will need advanced analytics features to be easy to use and accessible in their data visualization or planning tools at the click of a button. This allows enterprises to take the first step towards advanced analytics without needing significant retraining or upskilling. Users just need to know what kind of advanced analytics problem they are trying to solve and then the software should help solve it and provide the working model.

What is the main differentiator of predictive analytics, machine learning and prescriptive analytics?

This can be viewed as part of a continuum – predictive analytics is about the application of mathematics to data to uncover patterns and relationships. The question becomes “who is building these mathematical models?” 

In the case of predictive analytics, there is a human or team of humans that are explicitly building these models. Machine learning is about removing the human element from the model creation so that software can build the models on behalf of the end user, and wherever possible, automate all other steps in the advanced analytics process. 

Finally, prescriptive analytics is about taking the results of those models and making a recommended action for addressing the uncovered insights. Prescriptive analytics further removes the human element from the decision-making process and instead allows software to identify and suggest the next course of action. 

Are they used in different business processes or is one more advanced than the other?

They are used in the same business process, and enable users to automate at significant scale. However, prescriptive analytics makes possible the pursuit of new business processes and those are definitely more advanced than what a user can do with traditional analytics or even predictive analytics on its own. 

For example, if someone can automate the end to end decision making process with prescriptive analytics based on live data coming from sensors in the manufacturing plant, why not take that one step further? Use the software to automatically take action and record the results of those actions without human assistance.  The human effort is then focused on a higher level, ensuring process execution is effective in the aggregate.

Are businesses currently utilizing both or just one?

Business are using a mix of both to varying degrees of maturity. Some applications have embedded predictive models developed with machine learning techniques, which expose the results directly in the application and deliver suggested recommendations for the next action to take. These sit side by side with the workflow driven approach that would be more common in an organization. 

What are the biggest barriers to successfully leveraging predictive analytics across an organization? 

The biggest barrier has been a lack of human resources capable of building predictive analytics in a usable timeframe. In many ways, this is similar to what the traditional analytics market experienced.  Data was locked away in databases and only those database administrators who could code structured query language were able to access it. Because of that shortage, and the importance of that information, tools became available to make it possible for a non-technical person to access that data and create meaningful visualizations.

What are the challenges of prescriptive analytics and how are some businesses preparing to offset those?

The most obvious challenge with regards to prescriptive analytics is governance. If you are removing humans from the decision-making process and your model is flawed (either because the situation has changed, or because you have outlier situations), then you will not only make mistakes, but you will make them automatically and at scale. In areas of sensitivity or human risk, it is becoming common to enable a human with the insights and benefits of prescriptive analytics, but ultimately the human makes the final decision.

How can companies prepare to go from predictive analytics to prescriptive?

Companies can prepare for this by changing the way they frame traditional analytics questions. Instead of thinking only about how to get a result to answer a business question, companies need to think about the new types of business questions they can ask. In other words, if you could look at historical patterns over time and project what is likely to occur in future periods, where would you apply this? Next, empower business analysts to actually solve these problems with tools that give them the ability to easily use machine learning techniques to develop the models. 

David Judge, Vice President of Leonardo | Analytics at SAP 

Categories: Tech News

Uber's app will soon tell you if grabbing an e-bike would be quicker than a car

Latest Tech News - 14 hours 42 min ago

Soon, when you use Uber to select a destination, the app will present you with contextual suggestions to help you pick the best way to travel.

If you're the only one travelling and the trip looks relatively short, it may show you the location of the nearest scooter or JUMP e-bike alongside its various car options. Alternatively, if you're headed to the airport with friends in tow, it might offer SUVs and Uber XL options first.

According to TechCrunch, the updated app will also factor in how you've travelled in the past. For example, if you tend to choose frugal options like pools, it won't show you pricier luxury rides.

Voyages of discovery

Uber snapped up Brooklyn-based e-bike sharing startup JUMP in April, and added electric scooters to its lineup earlier this month, but until now these options have been quite hidden away in the app. Now they'll be brought into the foreground whenever they're relevant. 

It's a sensible move that'll help travellers get the most out of the company's growing fleet of different vehicles, without swamping them with too many different choices.

Categories: Tech News

Download Red Dead Redemption 2 today – seriously do, it's massive

Latest Tech News - 15 hours 10 min ago

Getting ready to ride out onto the dusty plains of Red Dead Redemption 2? You can get ahead of the pack from today, as Rockstar has opened up pre-load downloads for the western adventure game.

And, if you're buying the game as a pre-ordered digital download, you should take advantage, particularly if your internet connection speed is slow. It's a huge install.

If you've bought the Xbox One version of the game you're looking at a 107GB installation, while it's a 99GB download on PS4 (as well as needing an additional 50GB of free space for the installation process itself). As far as we're aware, that makes it the biggest PS4 game ever.

Those install sizes remain the same if you've got the disc versions, though you don't benefit from a few days advance installation time. However, picking up a physical copy on PS4 also means you don't need to free up that additional 50GB of space, as the disc installation doesn't require it.

Race to release

The Red Dead Redemption 2 release date is set for October 26, putting us exactly a week out from the launch of the game today.

Saddling up imminently, Rockstar has also treated us to one final trailer before the game hits our consoles. Catch it in action below:

Categories: Tech News

iPhone XR pre-orders start today

Latest Tech News - 15 hours 23 min ago

The waiting is finally over - you can now pre-order your brand new iPhone XR. Nearly six weeks after Apple unveiled its latest flagship phone to the world at Cupertino back in September, the day has finally arrived when you can stake your claim for an iPhone XR.

That said, you still have to exercise some amount of patience, as shipping doesn't start for one more week. Friday October 26 is the date to circle on your calendar in that regard, and that's when you'll start to see the iPhone XR on the physical shelves of phone and electronic retailers, too.

But if you want to be among the first people to own an iPhone XR then you'll want to pre-order it today - demand's likely to be sky high for this one. Be sure to check out our dedicated iPhone XR price comparison at the bottom of this page for the early best contract and handset offers.

Should I buy an iPhone XR?

It's a good question (well asked). If you're on a really tight budget and just want something passable, then the answer is a resounding no. This is a brand new iPhone we're talking about.

But if your old contract is at an end and you're dead set on grabbing a new flagship phone, then we reckon the iPhone XR is well worth the money. It's a genuine step up from the iPhone 8, from its aesthetics (it has lost the home button but gained a notch and some fabulous new colours) to the extra processing power that the A12 Bionic chipset brings. Add the 6.1-inch Liquid Retina screen and improved camera smarts, and the iPhone XR is definitely worth a place on your smartphone shortlist.

You can read our hands on iPhone XR review to help you make your final decision.

See also: All of today's best mobile phone deals in the UK

Categories: Tech News

The best PS4 Pro prices, bundles and sales in Australia (October 2018)

Latest Tech News - 18 hours 41 min ago

UPDATED: If you're looking for a Pro console, the savings playing field is pretty empty at the moment, but the best deal going is from Amazon, and it's bundled with some exclusive Fortnite content to boot. Check it out below.

Sony beat Microsoft to the punch with its new 4K gaming system, the PS4 Pro, and you should definitely grab one.

Here you'll find the best prices around on the PlayStation 4 Pro console and any bundle deals available so you can score Sony's excellent 4K system and jump right into the amazing array of PS4 games available at the moment.

We've got a dedicated page if you're looking for some excellent prices on the PlayStation VR and PlayStation Camera.

Keep this page bookmarked and we'll update it with bundles as they arrive, or scroll further down if you've got any burning questions about the new 4K PS4 Pro. To compare PlayStation 4 Pro prices in real time, check out our pick below, or visit our sister site Getprice.

The best PlayStation 4 Pro bundles

While Playstation 4 Pro bundles are constantly shifting from store to store, we've listed and ranked the best current options from the major retailers below so you don't have to do the sniffing and scratching yourself. 

Remember that the value of a bundle will ultimately come down to whether or not you were going to purchase the included game (or games) anyway and while some bundles are obviously better priced than others, you should check to see if that saving is worthwhile.

Need an extra controller on the cheap? Take a look at the best DualShock 4 deals.

What is the PS4 Pro?

Although the PS4 Pro isn't a 'next-gen' console necessarily, it is an upgrade of the PS4 and features the coveted 4K and HDR options that we're hearing so much about. 

The new machine will allow game developers to include 4K options in their games, so expect the like of Uncharted 4, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Days Gone, Horizon: Zero Dawn and more to look even better on a 4K TV.

HDR, or High Dynamic Range is the other buzzword to be excited about as the PS4 Pro will allow for extra detail to be seen on a range of games and also a wider range of colours not usually displayed by traditional HD TVs.

Will my old PS4 games work on PS4 Pro?

Yes. While not every game will be patched to take advantage of the new 4K/HDR capabilities, all of your old games will still work. Not only that, but the default upscaling (if you have a 4K TV) will likely see some improvements to the visuals and the boosted console power may give a slight nudge to the frame rates for some smoother play.

What else can I watch in 4K/HDR on PS4 Pro?

With services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video adopting 4K and HDR, with an ever-growing library entering the services, the PS4 Pro will be excellent as a streaming and media hub for your home theatre. There's also a lot of free 4K content on the YouTube app, and Stan has plenty of 4K although no HDR-compatible content yet.

Does the PS4 Pro support 4K Blu-rays?

No. The Xbox One S does support them though, so this was a bit of a surprise from Sony. So if you're specifically after a 4K Blu-ray player then head over to the competition, but as many viewers are crossing over to streaming services for their digital viewing, this may prove a wise move from Sony in the long run.

Do I need a 4K TV to run a PS4 Pro?

You don't NEED a 4K TV, no. The PS4 Pro will still run as per normal on a regular 1080p TV, although you won't get the benefits of upscaling or HDR though. There's a chance you may see a frame-rate boost or a slim amount of extra detail, but we wouldn't expect a massive leap.

If your mind is on a 4K TV, then you should probably go with a Pro rather than a Slim as it'll future proof you for a while and, realistically, the price jump is worth the longevity. Be sure to look out for a TV that supports HDR too, in order to take full advantage of the PS4 Pro's capabilities.

Will PlayStation VR be better on the PS4 Pro?

Maybe. Early reports seem to suggest it will as the PlayStation VR frame-rate is better on PS4 Pro and the resolution gets a bit of a bump too. You don't need a PS4 Pro to use PlayStation VR but this increase in specs may contribute a little to the immersion.

Does the PS4 Pro have optical audio support?

Yes! Although the optical audio output has been removed from the PS4 Slim, PS4 Pro owners  will still be able to use optical connections for their soundbars and sound systems.

What are the best games on PS4 Pro?

After scrounging through our back catalogue of PS4 games that have received a Pro update patch, we've come up with a feature packed with the games that look the best and have a noticeable difference. Take a look at our extensive list - The best PS4 Pro games.

Categories: Tech News

The best Nintendo Switch prices, bundles and sales in Australia (October 2018)

Latest Tech News - 18 hours 43 min ago

UPDATE: Amazon is still holding the crown for the best Switch price at the moment, with barely any discounts at all and no decent bundles to speak of. Scroll down to check out the Amazon deal.

The latest console from Nintendo hasn't wavered too much in price since launch (check out our Nintendo Switch review to see why) but you can be sure that we've found the best possible price on any consoles bundles or standalone units on this page. We've also rounded up the best prices for extra Pro controllers, Joy-Con controllers, and even some cheap memory cards.

If a retailer does offer a sneaky discount, you'll be able to see it below thanks to our automatically-updating price comparison charts. As more outlets start offering Nintendo Switch bundles with extra games and controllers, we'll give the best ones a shout in this article too.

The latest Nintendo Switch deals:

Check out our live Nintendo Switch price comparison below for the latest and greatest Nintendo Switch prices, or visit our sister site Getprice.

The best Nintendo Switch bundle deals

Bundles are always an excellent way to save money on games, controllers or extra hardware if you were planning on grabbing them anyway, and can sometimes even be cheaper than getting a console by itself. 

Ever since launch though, these have been incredibly thin on the ground, and when they are offered it's usually only for a few dollars less, so we'll keep track of the worthy savings when they come up, but most of them have been for the console itself so far.

Nintendo Switch Q&A

If you need to know more before you drop your dosh on the latest from Nintendo, here are some answers to your burning questions.

What are the Joy-Con controllers?

When you're buying a  'Joy-Con' controller , you'll actually be getting a pair of controllers that you can attach to the sides of the Nintendo Switch when not in use or when playing in tablet form away from the TV. 

If your Switch is docked, you can remove the Joy-Con and play with one in each hand. The left hand gets a controller with an analogue stick and d-pad, the right hand handles the one with a second analogue and the usual A, B, X and Y face buttons.

What's the Joy-Con Grip controller?

The Joy-Con Grip comes as an additional accessory that is used to join the two Joy-Con controllers in order to form something a little more solid for you to hold. It features extended handles and a plastic block in order to make the otherwise quite small and lightweight Joy-Con feel more akin to a standard controller. Thankfully, Nintendo is providing one in the box with the Switch, so you won't have to buy one separately.

Is there a Nintendo Switch Pro controller?

Yes there is, although it doesn't come with the console. Fortunately, you don't actually need this controller to play anything as it functions more as a premium option for those that feel more comfortable with a single, solid unit in their hands. Prices aren't cheap though, averaging around $99, although you can occasionally nab them for $89 or even $79. There's currently no sign of a Nintendo Switch Premium Edition console with a Pro controller included, but that could change over time.

Do I need to buy extra controllers for multiplayer on Nintendo Switch?

Maybe not! Given that the Joy-Con controller can be split in two, you can use each as a rudimentary controller when turned on its side due to each having an analogue stick and some form of face buttons. So far we've seen 2K's NBA series, Snipper Clips and Mario Kart being used this way for local multiplayer in both docked and tablet modes. 

However, if you want to play four-player games, then you're going to need to invest in an extra pair of Joy-Con controllers or, if you're really committed, a whole set of Pro controllers. You can buy the Joy-Cons as a pair which will save you a bit of dosh if that's your intention anyway, but if your friends own a Switch just get them to bring around theirs!

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild deals

The latest in the Legend of Zelda saga, The Breath of the Wild, has been raved about since launch, and remains the single largest reason to purchase a Switch. Typically, Zelda games don't drop in price in a hurry and, given how much the console is riding on this title's success, we can't see it dropping any time soon. You may be able to find it in a bundle, but otherwise take a look below at the best deals we've found on offer.

Nintendo Switch Micro SD memory card deals

The Switch comes stock with only 32GB of internal storage, so you'll be wanting to pick up a cheap memory card or two if you're planning to make any digital purchases or just need room for the inevitable game-fixing patches. Don't fret though, they're actually surprisingly cheap, with even 64GB ones coming in at under $50.

Be on the look out for Micro SD cards which are also known as, depending on their size, MicroSDHC (up to 32GB) or MicroSDXC (up to a huge 2TB soon). Nintendo have their own branded cards but you'll be paying a slight premium for the labelling privelege. So for now, we'd take a look at this range of cheap MicroSDXC Nintendo Switch-friendly cards.

Categories: Tech News

Huawei's 5G folding phone is official and is expected to land in 2019

Latest Tech News - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 20:58

First rumored back in July, Huawei has taken its first public step towards its foldable phone future, with company CEO Richard Yu confirming development of a bendy handset at its Mate 20 launch event this week, as reported by Digital Trends.

"We are working on foldable phones,” Yu stated to select international media attending the event. "Foldable 5G phones.”

Huawei has spoken about the potential of foldable handsets and its plans for 5G phones in the past, however, this is first time the Chinese phone maker has publicly linked the two in a concrete way. 

5G-funk

While Huawei has invested heavily in 5G infrastructure over the last year, the telecommunications giant has been frozen out of 5G deployments in key markets, including the US and Australia over concerns that the company may be subject to extrajudicial directions from the Chinese Government. 

Discussions surrounding a foldable Huawei phone previously hinted at a possible 2019 release, however, Yu was unwilling to offer a set timeframe for the device, telling Digital Trends that "Maybe sometime we will launch that, but not this time.”

While we wait for the foldable future, we've gone hands-on with Huawei's latest handsets, the Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro and Mate 20 X, and have come away quite impressed in each instance. 

Categories: Tech News

Spotify cuts the fat from its Premium app with streamlined overhaul

Latest Tech News - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 20:42

Spotify’s Premium app hasn’t seen too much of a shake-up in the last few years, but the music streaming platform has announced the roll-out of a streamlined overhaul to its otherwise-familiar interface.

Spotify says the refresh is intended to “give subscribers an even more personal and intuitive experience”. In essence, it does this by removing two of the five menu tabs that appear at the bottom of the app – Browse and Radio.

The remaining tabs (Home, Search and Library) still play the same roles they previously did, but the Browse and Radio tabs have been integrated in various ways within them.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

When you tap on the Search tab now, you’ll be greeted with a search bar (obviously) and the same array of curated genre tiles that previously comprised the Browse tab. Once you click into the search field, you’ll get the familiar list of “recent searches”, so you can quickly find that artist or track you previously looked up.

The Radio integration, however, is a little more complicated. If you navigate to your Library, you’ll see Stations appear along with your playlists, songs, artists and so on, but you can also access a radio station from any song, artist, album or playlist via its option menu.

A neat new feature added to Spotify’s Radio functionality is the ability to save these curated playlists to your Library and make them available offline by downloading them for later listening.

The latest update have already begun rolling out globally to both Android and iOS users with a Premium account, so expect it to land on your device in the coming days if it hasn’t already.

Categories: Tech News

Google Maps lets you share your ETA via third-party apps

Latest Tech News - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 20:01

The changes to Google Maps are coming in thick and fast – from recommending places to visit to sharing smartphone battery life with friends. More recently, Google added a Commute tab to its mobile app to improve the trip planning process.

While sharing live locations has been available on the Google Maps app for both Android and iOS since last year, the ability to share your ETA with friends and family was introduced on the Android app in August this year.

That feature, Google announced today, has now been added to the iOS version. In addition, Google Map users on both platforms can also share their ETAs with contacts via third-party applications like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Line.

Sharing is caring

The feature is easy to use – once you’ve started a journey, tap the '^' menu and select “Share trip progress”, which gives you the ability share your live location, route, and ETA. This will also bring up a list of third-party apps that can be used to send your ETA to contacts, making it simpler to share your location.

The feature is available for driving, cycling and walking navigation, and will automatically stop sharing your location once your journey ends, ensuring your friends and family don’t continue stalking you.

This update – available via the Play Store and the App Store now – makes sharing your location easier by eliminating the need to manually send it via a separate text message.

Categories: Tech News

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