Category Archives: Apple

Apple News Plus launch means Texture app shuts down on May 28 for Android

Category : Apple , News

Apple
When Apple purchased digital magazine service Texture back in March 2018, it was only a matter of time until Apple would spawn a new service. Lo and behold, Apple announced Apple News Plus earlier this week during its services-focused event.
Unfortunately for Android users and others without Apple devices, Texture announced earlier today that the service will shut down May 28, 2019. Texture users can presumably still use the service in full until then, with existing customers offered a one-month free trial to Apple News Plus.
However, the news must sting for existing Texture users who don’t own a Mac or iOS device. Apple News Plus is only available for Apple devices, which means Android users can’t even try out the new service unless they visit the Apple Store.
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Also keep in mind that the one-month free Apple News Plus trial offered to current Texture users is the same deal that all new Apple News Plus subscribers get. Lastly, it’s a bit surprising that there isn’t an Android version of Apple’s new service when the company published and continually updates its Apple Music app on the Google Play Store.
The only silver lining we can see is that Apple News Plus expands on what Texture offers. Apart from magazines, Apple News Plus also provides access to newspapers like The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Toronto Star. It also provides access to online publications like theSkimm, The Highlight by Vox, New York Magazine’s Vulture, and more.
NEXT: Apple unplugs long-delayed AirPower wireless charger


Apple unplugs long-delayed AirPower wireless charger

Apple today said it has cancelled plans to release a wireless charger for its iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. The company first revealed AirPower in September 2017 and suggested it would arrive by early 2018. More than 18 months later, the product still hasn’t reached store shelves. Apple has scrapped it.
“After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project,” said Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, in a statement emailed to TechCrunch. “We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward.”
The charging pad’s absence had become a running joke for the last few months as people have begun to question the product’s legitimacy. A handful of Apple events came and went with no further mention of AirPower.
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When first revealed, Apple said the pad would be able to charge two devices simultaneously and deliver the proper charge to each device. The company envisioned that people might charge their iPhone and AirPods on the pad at the same time. The iPhone would also be able to supply real-time information about the charging status of each device.
This isn’t the first time Apple products have failed to launch, or failed to launch on time. The original AirPods were delayed and even once they began shipping initial quantities were strictly limited.
Apple did not provide a specific reason for cancelling AirPower other than its inability to “achieve our high standards.” That’s marketing speak for “we just couldn’t get the darned thing to work.”
Speculation about engineering challenges has run rampant, mostly pertaining to thermal issues. Managing heat is important when imparting electricity to lithium-ion batteries. AirPower was shown alongside the first iPhones to support wireless charging, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.
“Apple cancels products before shipping them all the time — but it keeps its entire product development process secret,” noted Avi Greengart, lead analyst at Techsponential to Android Authority. “It is unusual, though not unprecedented, for Apple to announce products long before they ship. It is downright rare for Apple to cancel products that it has announced. So this is definitely not normal operating procedure for Apple. Of course, it is just an accessory, and there are plenty of alternatives that do essentially the same thing, if not as elegantly.”
Other companies have been able to bring similar wireless chargers to market successfully. In August 2018, for example, Samsung released the Wireless Charger Duo, which can handle two phones, or a phone and Galaxy watch at the same time. The Wireless Charger Duo is available online for about $65.
Samsung.com


Google Pixel 3 Night Shot compared to iPhone XS, and it’s not really close

Google has posted a low-light comparison between the iPhone XS and Pixel 3.
The Pixel 3 used Night Sight to deliver a brighter result than the iPhone shot.
The iPhone XS lacks a proper night mode, as seen on rival Android handsets.

Night modes are all the rage in the smartphone industry, with Huawei, Google, OnePlus, and Xiaomi offering the option on their devices. Now, Google has compared the Pixel 3’s Night Sight mode to the iPhone XS in a low-light situation (seen above), and there’s a stark difference between the two.
Google marketing executive Marvin Chow posted the comparison on Twitter, showing “Phone X” on the left, and the Google Pixel 3 with Night Sight on the right. The tiny text on the left tells us that “Phone X” is actually the iPhone XS.

Night Sight on Google Pixel3 — pretty much speaks for itself #teampixel pic.twitter.com/ao0Yi2W2Sq
— marvin chow (@theREALmarvin) January 27, 2019

The scene, which shows a model standing in front of a neon-lit scene at night, seems ideal for the Night Sight mode. The Pixel 3 managed to deliver a brighter overall scene, clearly showing the woman’s face, clothing, and other elements. But the buildings in the background were also brighter and more detailed in Google’s photo, save for some blown-out lighting. Heck, you can even see a brighter (but not too noisy) sky in the Pixel 3 snap.
How did the iPhone fare?
Meanwhile, Apple’s phone was much darker overall, as the model seems silhouetted against the neon environment. The woman’s face is almost completely dark, and her clothing doesn’t retain the same rich color as Google’s effort.  The iPhone XS photo managed to tame the lighting in the background though, while Google prioritized the model instead. But based on the fact that we have an obvious subject in the viewfinder, I’d say Google’s phone certainly made the right decision.
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Still, I wonder whether the iPhone XS truly is that bad, almost as if the photographer adjusted exposure on the background instead (or simply didn’t tap on the subject’s face). But if there’s no foul play here, then it’s clearly a big win for Google.
Night mode is becoming one of the most important weapons in a smartphone camera’s arsenal these days, combining multiple exposures with smart algorithms. Apple’s iPhones lack this feature right now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a future version of iOS offers this functionality. This could be a boon for older iPhones too, giving Apple’s legacy devices a welcome boost in low-light situations. But until then, the Pixel 3 seems to reign supreme when the sun goes down.
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