UPDATE (21 May): Microsoft has officially released the preview version of its Chromium-based Edge browser for macOS and it's available for download from the Microsoft Edge Insider website now. Mac keyboard shortcuts, and Touch Bar and trackpad support are also in the pipeline.
Last year Microsoft announced huge changes to its Edge web browser, including the fact that it was moving to the open source Chromium engine (which its chief competitor Chrome uses), and the company revealed it would also run on MacBooks and Mac computers.
It now appears that you can download and install and early version of Microsoft Edge for macOS right now.
If you want to try it out on your Mac, it’s safe to do so – though remember this is an early version of the web browser that’s used for testing, so expect bugs and unfinished features. If you want a more dependable experience, wait until the final version.
- Microsoft confirms Edge will be able to use Google Chrome Extensions
- The best web browser 2019
- Best internet security suites of 2019
We’ve already heard about new features coming to the new Chromium-based Edge web browser during Microsoft’s Build 2019 developer conference, so we could hear more about the Mac version of Edge soon.
Returning to Mac
The fact that Microsoft is releasing its Edge web browser on macOS is remarkable for a few reasons. Not only was Edge originally a Windows 10-only browser, but it sees a Microsoft-made web browser available on a Mac for the first time since Internet Explorer - and that was 16 years ago, when Microsoft ceased the updates.
Now, a Microsoft web browser might not be something many Apple users have been clamouring for, but it will offer an alternative Chromium web browser for those who don’t want to trust their data with Google and its Chrome browser.
Making Edge available on a range of platforms is a smart move by Microsoft – as even with the advantage of it coming installed by default in Windows 10, the web browser has struggled to gain users compared to its competitors.
Could Edge find success on macOS where it failed on Windows? Stranger things have happened...
- Here’s our pick of the best Macs of 2019
The news that Google has blocked Huawei’s future access to Android updates – for both apps and timely security updates – not only casts doubt over the entire future of the Chinese smartphone manufacturer’s business, it also could have wide-ranging implications for the future of the global smartphone market.
After US President Donald Trump placed Huawei on the ‘entity list’, limiting the business US brands could do with Huawei, Google has been forced to restrict the company's access to the Google Play Store, which means that in the future users won’t be able to gain access to popular titles, nor to speedy security updates to the Android OS.
In short, Huawei will no longer be able to offer access to crucial Google apps, and will be severely limited in how quickly it can give users access to the latest versions of Android, and the new features and security updates those offer.
Update: The US Commerce Department has issued a temporary license for Huawei to work with businesses in the US, meaning Google can resume its partnership with the brand. However, this only lasts until August 19 and it's unclear how Huawei will be able to gain the full license to work with US brands while the government considers it a threat to national security.
So it seems, for now, that this is nothing more than a delay to a hugely difficult time for Huawei.
What does that mean if I have a Huawei phone?
Perhaps the most useful piece of information about current Huawei phones is Google's statement issued to TechRadar:
“We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications. For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices,” a spokesperson told us.
However, there is one nugget of good news if you’ve just spent large amounts of money on a Huawei P30 Pro: as alluded to above, current devices from the Chinese brand will continue to get security updates and access to the Google Play Store for the foreseeable future, as Google has promised not to leave those out in the cold.
The temporary lifting of the ban will also allow the brands to prepare better Android support for current and future models, meaning that Huawei will be able to do bueinsess as it has been for a little longer - so current customers will be able to benefit for longer.
Huawei has also told us that it will continue to do all it can to support all its phones currently out in the wild, and is looking at other implications of Google's decision.
The company told us: “Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefited both users and the industry.
"Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.”
We've asked for comment regarding the recent lifting of the ban, but Huawei has not responded as yet. Whether this will allow the flexible Mate X to launch with 'full fat' Android remains to be seen, but that's likely to be a huge target for the brand as it's spent enormous sums marketing that model since the unveiling in February and is keen to lock in its reputation as a technological leader.
The fact that current models will be offered updates doesn't mean you can rest easy if you’re a current Huawei owner though – how long this support will last for is, as yet, unclear – and it's unlikely to continue for years to come.
While most smartphone brands will only honor security updates for two to three years after launch of a new handset, one might expect this to be much shorter in the case of Huawei phones, given these new restrictions from Google.
Will future Huawei phones still use Android?
The move from Google means it will no longer work with Huawei directly on issuing updates to its system, and won't give the company access to the Google Play Store. This is a potentially critical blow to the brand, which only recently spoke out about its plans to be the world's largest smartphone manufacturer.
This means that if Huawei wants to keep using the Android operating system, it will need to use the Android Open Source Platform (AOSP), which is a free platform that any brand can use as an underlying foundation for its products.
However, it along with the Google Play Store it won’t have access to the core Google apps like YouTube, Google Maps and Chrome – these are core elements of Google's business that it's not duty bound to make available to anyone.
Without access to the Play Store, Huawei would be forced to work directly with developers to get them to create versions of their wares for its phones. This situation would be similar to that of Amazon’s Fire OS, which is based on AOSP but has its own app store, as the retail giant seeks to control the platform its Fire tablets and Echo devices run on.
If Huawei does have to use AOSP, the consequences could be devastating, as access to a fully-stocked app store is crucial to the success of any modern smartphone – Nokia and Microsoft failed to make Windows Phones a viable alternative to Android and Apple’s iOS, even though both brands poured millions into developer tools and enticing the top app creators onto their platform.
However, Huawei has claimed that it's been developing its own alternative to Android for nearly seven years, calling it a ‘Plan B’ that’s ready to go should it lose access to the services listed above.
In the latest statement to TechRadar, Huawei said: “We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally,” which sounds like it already wants to generate some positive hype around its alternative OS.
How this would work is currently unclear, as Huawei also said it would rather continue working with brands like Google and Microsoft (whose Windows operating system runs on Huawei laptops) to offer the best experience.
”Huawei has been working hard on developing its own AppGallery and other software assets in a similar manner to its work on chipset solutions.” Ben Woods, Chief of Research at CCS Insight, told TechRadar. ”There is little doubt these efforts are part of its desire to control its own destiny.”
It seems unlikely, however, that the Chinese brand would have developed viable alternatives to all the top Android apps for its next round of smartphones.
If Huawei loses access to the Google Play Store, it would take an enormous amount of investment to attract developers to create app options that would keep users of its smartphones happy – and you have to wonder whether the brand would feel it was worth continuing to make phones at all when faced with that kind of hurdle.
The same would also apply to Honor, the sub-brand of Huawei phones, in the future. Honor might have tried to distance itself from its parent company, but it’s been confirmed that it will be subject to the same sanctions.
However, the launch of that brand’s Honor 20 smartphone is still going ahead as planned – so it’s clear that devices currently created and in the supply chain are still going to be supported in the Android ecosystem.
What about other brands? What does this mean for the wider smartphone world?
While these sanctions don’t currently affect other brands, the message being sent is clear: global politics can have dramatic implications for the manufacturing and marketing of consumer devices that have become indispensable for billions of people.
While there’s currently no issue with brands headquartered in other parts of the world, a similar sanction could see other smartphone manufacturers forced into a costly rethink.
A few years ago Samsung seriously threatened a breakaway move from Google’s Android operating system, as it felt the search giant had too much control over the operating system on its Galaxy smartphones.
(It’s worth noting that while Samsung did release smartphones based on Tizen, they were budget models, and didn’t come anywhere close to the success of its Galaxy phone range).
The big beneficiary here could be Apple – President Trump has long advocated for the brand to move its operations from China to the US, and exempted Apple from the trade tariffs imposed on China so that the brand wouldn’t have to raise its prices.
Huawei has been a thorn in Apple’s side of late, with the rise of the Chinese brand seeing it usurp its Cupertino-based rival in the worldwide rankings and become a serious competitor in the premium smartphone space – and Trump clearly wants to see the US tech giant do more of its business back home.
However, moving its operations from China would be incredibly costly for Apple, and it would still need to source many components from Asia to build future iPhones, so it’s unclear what the effect would be, both on the company and the US economy.
The loss of Huawei as a major player in the global smartphone market could also have a wider impact on the smartphones other vendors are pushing out. The Chinese brand’s aggressive development of new technological capabilities has forced rivals to significantly improve their devices and push out new advancements of their own, and any diminution of its influence would likely slow the rate of development.
Huawei’s smartphone camera prowess has arguably kickstarted a race to offer cameras that deliver ever-better sharpness, color and overall image quality in the last two years – the quality of the pictures it's possible to take on a premium phone has improved dramatically as the brand's P series has relentlessly pushed the boundaries of what’s possible.
The company is also in a race with Samsung to bring out the first widely available foldable phone – and the Huawei Mate X’s mere existence surely forced the South Korean brand to speed up its development of a bending handset, meaning consumers will get access to the technology earlier (although Samsung probably would have rather waited to deliver the Galaxy Fold…).
So is it all over for Huawei?
There is a glimmer of hope for Huawei’s continued use of Android and the capabilities that offers.
The recent ban lifting means there's a real chance that negotiations can be entered into with the US government, allowing the brand to prove itself 'safe' and move out from the middle of the trade war between China and the US. This is far from certain, but things certainly look a lot less bleak for the brand.
Google has also confirmed that it's ‘reviewing’ the situation, and the implications of the US sanctions – it doesn’t want to limit the reach of its Android ecosystem, and US brands like Qualcomm are going to be severely impacted by the Huawei restrictions, so will likely lobby to have this decision re-examined.
However, if Google is forced to cut Huawei off from future Android security updates and access to the Play Store, then it could not only make things difficult for Huawei, but may cause consumers to view any Chinese brand with suspicion – and given the proliferation and technological prowess of the latest phones coming out of that country, that would also have a huge impact on the industry.
So while this move seems to only affect Huawei right now, it’s going to have a knock-on effect for the entire industry, and will most likely have implications for the next smartphone you buy – and it could also mean the rise of a new mobile operating system, and potentially a serious challenger to Android.
It gets even more difficult if you’re trying to choose between two of the most popular services, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video: Both offer fantastic original content, and both are available on lots of different platforms, whether you want to watch on your TV, your smartphone, or your laptop.
To help you decide, we’ve put together this handy guide to the top two streaming services available today.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: overview
Netflix is arguably more than a streaming service these days; it’s become a cultural phenomenon, with an enormous 139 billion of us subscribing to chill and binge.
That’s largely down to Netflix’s huge wealth of original and syndicated TV shows and movies, as well as it’s simple user interface.
That’s not to say that Amazon Prime Video isn’t popular too – as of December 2018 it had 75 million users worldwide. On its own, it’s a large number of users, but it pales in comparison to Netflix.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: price and availability
Currently, the cheapest Netflix plan stands at $9 / £5.99 / AU$9.99, while its HD Standard plan (the most popular) costs $13 / £7.99 / AU$13.99.
For fans of Ultra HD streaming (and Dolby Vision/Dolby Atmos), the 4K Premium plan is available for $16 / £9.99 / AU$17.99.
One of the main differences between Netflix and Prime Video is the fact that access to Amazon's streaming service comes standard with an Amazon Prime membership.
This means the streaming service comes as standard alongside Amazon Music and premium delivery services, which costs $10.99 per month in the US or an annual fee of £79 per year in the UK. It’s also now available in Australia for an introductory price of AU$4.99 per month.
- What is 4K resolution? Our guide to 4K and Ultra HD displays
So, what does an Amazon Prime membership get you? The most famous of Amazon’s service is its free shipping, with same-day, next-day, and two-day delivery available depending on your location.
You also get access to a free Kindle ebook every month from the Kindle First service and another free book from the Amazon Kindle Lending Library, as well as Prime Music, which offers free music streaming of millions of tracks.
In the US and UK, you can also subscribe to Prime Video without an Amazon Prime membership for $8.99 / £5.99 per month; however, doing this is only marginally cheaper than buying the full membership, and for just a few dollars more, you get access to a host of fantastic services.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: user interface
One of the best things about Netflix is how it uses clever algorithms to tailor its content to you, recommending shows and movies you might like based on your past viewing habits. Sure, these algorithms can get it wrong - and often caters to Netflix originals - but the Netflix algorithm is still one of its best features.
Another reason for Netflix’s popularity is its intuitive user interface, which makes it easy to navigate shows and films you’ve saved to your ‘list’, as well as making it easy to search by genre, director, actor and more.
Prime Video is curated in a similar way, seemingly taking inspiration from Netflix’s user interface; navigation still isn’t quite as seamless as it is in Netflix, but Prime Video is catching up with the streaming behemoth.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: compatibility and features
Both services are available in your web browser, on smart TVs, iOS and Android smartphones/tablets, games consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One X, streaming boxes and dongles like the Roku Premiere+, Amazon’s Fire TV devices, Apple TV, and compatible Blu-ray players.
Netflix also has its own Google Chromecast app. Currently Prime still doesn’t have an official app, but you can cast Prime Video from your laptop or smartphone to your TV using the streaming dongle.
In terms of picture quality, both services offer content in a range of definitions – but Prime video wins out when it comes to streaming in 4K.
While Netflix does offer a range of shows and films in 4K (and some in 3D if you have a compatible device) you’ll need to pay extra to access Netflix’s 4K content, though, which costs $3 / £2/ AU$4 more than its Standard plan.
This is where Amazon triumphs over Netflix; it offers more 4K content, and it doesn’t charge any extra for the privilege. So, as long as you have a compatible device, you can stream in ultra HD straight off the bat.
One cool feature of Netflix picture quality is its dynamically-scaling streams mean you don't need to choose the quality level you want to watch at. If your bandwidth is low it will deliver just the standard definition versions, but if you've got the hardware and the correct subscription plan, it will go all the way up to 4K Ultra HD resolutions if available.
If you want to watch content offline, both services allow you to download selected shows and movies.
Netflix downloads stay in your library for 30 days at a time, and will automatically expire at that time – even if it's on a device that isn't connected to the internet.
Prime Video titles also have a limited viewing period that varies between different titles; generally, you’ll have around 30 days to watch your downloaded content, and once you start watching it, you have to finish it within 48 hours before it’s deleted.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: content
Netflix has a huge range of exclusives, originals and classics to get stuck into, and is fast becoming a respected distributor of original movies and TV series.
This is especially true since Netflix Original movie Roma took the award for Best Cinematography, Best Director, and Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars earlier this year.
Its best-known original series include Orange Is The New Black, Bojack Horseman, Stranger Things, Daredevil, Maniac, and House of Cards, while more recent editions include Queer Eye, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Of course, it’s not only about original content; a huge part of Netflix’s success rides on the enormous variety of syndicated content it puts out, ranging from gritty thrillers like Breaking Bad to adult cartoons like Rick and Morty – not to mention its extensive range of kids shows and movies.
Prime Video also boasts a huge library of content. In terms of TV shows, there’s a wealth of exclusive series like Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Man in the High Castle, Transparent, and Mr. Robot, as well as syndicated shows like The Office US, The Walking Dead, and Parks and Recreation.
It also has a more extensive range of films than Netflix, with rough estimates placing it as around 18,000 movies and 4,500 TV shows, compared to Netflix’s 11,000. Plus, Amazon often gets the rights to new releases much quicker than any other streaming service, with movies like Mary Queen of Scots, Crazy Rich Asians, and Bohemian Rhapsody already available to watch (at least in the UK).
However, most of these newer films and TV shows aren’t actually included as part of the Prime Video subscription, which means you have to either buy or rent these titles to watch them.
This is where using Prime Video can be confusing; you have to be really careful about which movies and shows are included in your subscription and which are part of Amazon's video storefront. Amazon is pretty good about flagging Prime Video content and warning you before you make a purchase, but the fact that the two types of videos are mixed together can make things confusing.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: takeaway
With both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offering such a fantastic wealth of content, either platform is a brilliant choice – but you should ask yourself a few questions before making your decision.
Are you looking for a really simple one-stop shop for streaming TV shows and movies? Opt for Netflix. Do you regularly buy online from Amazon and want to save money on your shipping costs? Try Prime Video – it's built-in to your Prime subscription so there's nothing really to lose.
Price-wise, if you subscribed to Prime just for the shows and movies, there’s not a huge difference between the two services - but Amazon Video does give you the option to pay for new films a la carte, which is a nice option.
As there isn’t a huge amount of crossover between the content available on each platform, looking at which TV shows and movies appeal to you the most is a pretty good way of choosing between Netflix and Prime Video: If you’re a RuPaul’s Drag Race devotee, Netflix will be your best bet, but if you like the look of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, you should go for Amazon Prime Video – both services offer a great variety of content, so be sure to look through each library before you make your choice.
- Want to save some money? Here's how to cancel your Netflix subscription
The story isn't over for Google Glass, the company's connected AR headset. Though the original product didn't make much of a splash, running into a bit of controversy with its awkward looks, Google didn't give up on it. The company instead transitioned it away from the consumer market with Glass Enterprise Edition. And, now Glass is getting another upgrade in the Glass Enterprise Edition 2 announced today by Google.
The new AR glasses have a few key improvements, with USB-C for faster charging, Bluetooth 5.0, Android Oreo (using the AOSP), and a new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 chip for improved computer vision and machine learning. The new chip should help save power while simultaneously boosting performance.
The Glass team has also worked with Smith Optics on special safety frames, opening the product up for more work environments.
- See what our year-long Google Glass experience was like
- Check out the Magic Leap One AR goggles
- See where virtual reality may be headed
All work and no play
While it sounds like the Glass is coming along, even becoming mainstream enough for the team behind it to shift back to Google from parent company Alphabet's Google X program, it's still not a consumer gadget.
The technology is progressing, and more powerful computer vision is showing up all over the place, from self-driving cars to smartphone cameras. But between the Glass Enterprise Edition 2 and Microsoft's HoloLens 2, the safest bet for viability is still enterprise – at least for now.
Most average consumers who need AR tools won't need them constantly on-hand, and as rudimentary AR tools start appearing on smartphones, they have little reason to buy a $1,000-plus device. Even for those few consumers who could justify buying a pair of glasses with a built-in camera to share footage with friends, there's the much more affordable Snapchat Spectacles to meet their needs.
So, even as Google Glass gets a big upgrade and moves from X back to Google, the awaited future where we use augmented reality glasses in our day-to-day lives isn't here yet – but we might start looking for it in the workplace.
- These are the best VR headsets
- Via: CNET
We're weeks away from Apple's WWDC 2019 keynote and we're expecting to hear plenty of news from CEO Tim Cook and the rest of the company. Its the place where new mobile, Mac and Apple TV software will almost surely debut – and maybe we'll see some new hardware, too.
The first WWDC 2019 date is Monday, June 3, Apple confirmed back in March. Once again, the show will go on at the McEnery Convention Center, where Apple has held WWDC for the past two years.
The keynote has always been a showcase for Apple to hype new versions of its software suite, inspiring developers with additional features several months ahead of their typical launch date, all while teasing the rest of us.
We could potentially see new hardware, too – though that hasn't always been the case. Apple introduced its HomePod smart speaker along with new versions of the iPad Pro WWDC 2017. But the company only unveiled software at last year's event, waiting to unveil the new iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9 at its October hardware-focused show.
We're also expecting the software updates to show how they will integrate all the streaming services Apple introduced at its event earlier this year. Apple TV Plus is the company's platform to house the handful of prestige shows it's been purchasing and producing over the last couple years, while Apple Arcade is the gaming service to play across every Apple device (except the Apple Watch).
In any case, here's what we heavily suspect (if not outright know) Apple will talk about at WWDC 2019.
The iOS 13 update is the next big release for Apple's mobile operating system, and it's poised to build on the increased speed in older iPhones and Group FaceTime expansion that arrived in iOS 12.
The next Apple mobile OS update is expected to bring long-awaited features like Dark Mode and perhaps iPad layout changes on the table. iOS 9 and iOS 11 brought big changes to iPad software, so we expect the same from iOS 13.
A Bloomberg report has outlined other features allegedly coming in iOS 13, like one that lets users swipe their fingers around a keyboard to spell words (presumably like SwiftKey), along with expansions of Screen Time and the Health app. Another new feature supposedly enables folks to use their iPad as a secondary screen, while a HomePod upgrade lets the speaker respond to different users' voices.
At this point, we don't know which older devices will be compatible with iOS 13. Apple typically requires devices to run a particular chip or newer to run their OS, with iOS 11 and iOS 12 supporting iPhones and iPads with an A7 processor (iPhone 5S, iPad Air and iPad Mini 2) and better.
Based on previous iOS rollouts, the first iOS 13 beta for developers will likely arrive during or a few days after WWDC 2019. Everyone else will be able to try out the new OS when its public beta launches, which is expected at the end of June. We're anticipating an official release alongside the iPhone 11, which should be coming in October, if Apple follows its usual schedule.
We loved macOS 10.14 (aka Mojave) for finally introducing system-wide Dark Mode and additional creative tools, but we haven't heard much at all about macOS 10.15 – which doesn't even have a cool nature-themed codename yet (in keeping with recent releases, it will likely reference a California biome).
We don't know much about what's officially coming, but macOS 10.15 could include iOS features like Siri Shortcuts (and potentially the Shortcuts app), Screen Time, improved Apple ID management and special iMessage effects. We've also seen rumors that iTunes will be split into four different apps: Music, Books, TV, and Podcasts.
There's also the possibility that macOS 10.15 enables Mac users to link up their iPads as secondary displays.
On the other hand, it's also possible that we'll only see incremental improvements, as happened with the move from 10.13 Sierra to 10.14 High Sierra. If that's the case, perhaps we'll see that minimal upgrade in the name – Dry Mojave, maybe?
Apple ruffled feathers when it raised minimum system requirements for macOS Mojave and locked out older machines, so we don't expect those thresholds to change this time around. To be specific: we expect anything newer than a 2015 MacBook, mid-2012 MacBook Pro, any late 2012 MacBook Air/Mac mini/iMac, late 2013 Mac Pro or 2017 iMac Pro to be able to run the next macOS.
Assuming Apple runs its usual schedule, it will introduce macOS 10.15 and release it in late September.
We haven't heard anything about watchOS 6, but we're assuming that update will be announced at WWDC 2019 for owners of the newer Apple Watches. Perhaps it will be the long-awaited sleep tracker feature (Apple did buy sleep tracking company Beddit two years ago), though that's rumored to be coming to Apple's wearables in 2020.
But sources told Bloomberg that Apple plans to sever its wearable's close dependency on iPhone by adding an App Store directly to Watch (and ergo, watchOS). This opens the door to third-party developers (finally!) but Apple reportedly also plans to toss in some basic apps that have been on iOS for years, liek Calculator, Voice Memos, and the ability to send Animoji and Memoji stickers. There will also be two new health apps: one called 'Dose' to monitor pill reminders and the other 'Cycles' to track menstrual cycles.
watchOS 6 will almost certainly be compatible with the latest Apple Watch 4 and previous Apple Watch 3, while support for Apple Watch 2 is likely. We don't have high hopes for the original Apple Watch, however, as it stopped getting updates with watchOS 4.
We expect Apple to follow precedent and launch a watchOS 6 beta shortly after WWDC 2019, then release a final public version in September.
If you thought we hadn't heard much about Apple's other probable software updates, we know even less about tvOS 13, which we expect to be announced at WWDC 2019.
But Apple TV devices will certainly support the company's new streaming services. Apple TV Plus will have exclusive shows from big names like Oprah, Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and M. Night Shyamalan, and is expected to launch in later 2019. That's around when Apple Arcade is set to launch, which will have a host of games you can play across iOS, macOS and tvOS devices.
At last year's WWDC, Apple mentioned very little about the then-upcoming tvOS 12, which brought Dolby Atmos overhead surround sound, Dolby Vision HDR standard and zero sign-on that auto-filled passwords from your home Wi-Fi network (for US users, at least).
We don't know about any features coming with the supposed tvOS 13, but if it follows precedent, it will arrive in mid-September.
Mac Pro...and more
Apple is reportedly considering introducing a new version of the Mac Pro, according to Bloomberg. While we didn't get any details of how the desktop machine might be revamped, but there's plenty to update, given the second and last generation Mac Pro came out in 2013.
This fits last year's news that Apple was aiming for a 2019 release of a wholly revisioned Mac Pro, per a lengthy TechCrunch report. Gone is the 'trash can' design, as the company is allegedly considering a ground-up revision.
Apple is also preparing its own brand of external monitor (going by the codename J290) that will pack HDR support, per Bloomberg. Other rumors suggest a 31.6-inch 6K screen with mini-LED backlighting, according to Pocket Lint.
Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced a new production studio called PlayStation Productions that will focus exclusively on adapting the company’s hit videogame franchises into TV shows and movies.
The new production studio will be headed by PlayStation’s former VP of Marketing, Asad Qizilbash, and overseen by PlayStation boss Shawn Layden.
According to Layden, a number of titles are already in production, though he says that the new studio won’t follow a set cadence for releasing those films like you’ve come to expect from, say, Marvel Studios.
In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Qizilbash said the team has spoken to a number of Hollywood producers including Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Kevin Feige to get an understanding about the production process and what to expect.
That said, according to Layden, what the PlayStation Productions doesn’t want to do is simply make a shot-for-shot retelling of a game. Instead, it has to be a vision of the game written by someone who understands the franchise and can adapt it for movie-going audiences.
"We want to create an opportunity for fans of our games to have more touch points with our franchises," says Layden. "When fans beat a 40-50 hour game and have to wait three-four years for a sequel, we want to give them places they can go and still have more of that experience and see the characters they love evolve in different ways."
Is Hollywood ready for videogames?
While you'd be forgiven for having some reservations about a studio dedicated to videogame movie adaptations – you know, those films that often tank at the box office – but Sony's heart seems to be in the right place here.
Moreover, Sony seems more concerned with creating quality content with PlayStation Productions than it is with just pumping out cash-grab films: the film studio has been in the works for two years now, and Layden's statement confirms that it's in no rush to get a lackluster movie in theaters by the end of the year.
It helps, too, that this is a good time to announce more videogame adaptations in the wake of the relatively well-received Detective Pikachu film. As traditionally niche movies are finding success at the box office, more entertainment properties are realizing the untapped potential of their IPs, something Sony has in spades – like Uncharted, The Last of Us, or Spyro.
So while it's OK to be skeptical about what kind of films a movie house run by a former PlayStation marketing exec might churn out, you can rest assured that it won't, can't be any worse than some of the godawful videogame movie adaptations we had growing up (*cough* Super Mario Bros., Bloodrayne, Doom...).
- Need something new to play? These are the best PS4 games
Salesforce users were taken aback last week when the platform experienced a massive outage after the deployment of a database script inadvertently gave users broader access than intended.
The San Francisco-based cloud software giant initially blocked access to all instances of its software for organizations affected by the database script flaw. Once Salesforce was able to isolate the affected organizations, it restored access for non-affected organizations.
The outage itself was caused by a faulty Pardot database script which allowed users to view and edit all of their company's data regardless of their permission settings.
- Apple and Salesforce team up on workplace apps
- Five qualities to look for in a cloud service provider
- Using old Creative Cloud apps? Adobe says you risk copyright infringement
As of Saturday, customers who were unaffected by the database script issue had their full access restored while Salesforce only restored access to users with a system administrator profile if their organization had been affected by the flaw.
Organizations with a valid backup of their profiles and user permission data were able to deploy that information directly from a Sandbox copy to the production environment on Saturday.
However, if a Salesforce customer lacks a Sandbox containing production profiles and permission sets, the company said that admins would have to manually modify the configurations to grant appropriate access to users.
In total, the outage lasted for 15 hours before administrators regained access to Salesforce.
By moving their critical applications to the cloud, organizations can cut costs while allowing employees to access them from anywhere but the recent Salesforce outage is a prime example of how cloud apps can also leave businesses open to a loss in productivity when a system does go down.
- We've also highlighted the best CRM software
It seems that the news of Google's ban on Android services for Huawei phones is causing worry among users, as a large surge in trade-ins began as soon as the situation was confirmed.
UK trade-in site Music Magpie told TechRadar that it saw 154% more Huawei devices offered than a regular Monday, picking up pace throughout the day, after Google blocked Huawei's access to future Android systems, following the decision by the US to place the brand on the 'Entity List', effectively stopping American companies working with Huawei.
The trade-ins peaked at 1PM BST, where more Huawei devices were being traded in than any other brand - and with the news affecting devices worldwide, it's likely we could see a similar trend in other countries too.
- What could Huawei users miss out on in Android Q?
- See the best phones on the market right now
- Grab a great mobile phone deal with our smart price finder
The fervor was driven by the fact that consumers were unable to work out if their devices would be supported with key parts of the Android system in the future, meaning access to security updates and the Google Play Store, which distributes the broad range of apps that make Android so popular.
The Huawei P20 was one of the most traded-in models, which saw thousands of said device being offered to Music Magpie, and phones from the more powerful Mate range also landed in the top 10 for the day.
What does the future hold for Huawei?
The uptick in trade-in traffic is hardly surprising as consumers scrabble to understand whether they'll be holding onto a phone that can't do the key things they need, although both Google and Huawei have confirmed they will still support devices on the market with apps and security updates.
It's interesting to note that users who bought the Huawei P20 at launch are getting only 20% of the price they paid for the phone, which is a huge drop for a phone only just a year old. It highlights the worry that the news of the ban has caused, if users are willing to accept such a decline in value.
We're still waiting for long-term confirmation of what Google's suspension of the Android elements means for its cooperation with Huawei, but if nothing changes then it looks like the world's second-largest smartphone brand could have real issues convincing users to buy its future handsets.
New research from Upstream has revealed that the popular Android app VidMate has been hijacking user's smartphones to use additional data, incur unwanted charges and collect personal information.
Currently the app, which allows users to stream and download videos and songs from services such as Dailymotion, Vimeo and Youtube, has over 500m download reported and all of those users could potentially be at risk from fraudulent activity.
Hidden software within VidMate delivers invisible ads, generates fake clicks and purchases, installs other suspicious apps without consent and collects user's personal information. The app also depletes users' data allowance which can bring unwanted charges.
- Android apps used in multimillion dollar ad fraud scheme
- Pointing to the future: the next step in fraud prevention
- Android is now even more secure
VidMate is not available in the Google Play Store and instead the app is distributed through third-party app stores such as CNET or Uptodown.
Upstream used publicly available information to uncover the fact that VidMate was developed by a subsidiary of UC Web which is owned by the Chinese cloud giant Alibaba.
The firm's security platform, Secure-D, detected and blocked almost 130m suspicious mobile transactions initiated by VidMate. These transactions originated from close to 5m unique mobile devices across 15 countries.
Ethiopia, Nigeria, Malaysia and Kuwait were among the top affected markets likely due to how common digital payments via mobile are in these countries.
Upstream's CEO Guy Krief provided further insight on the company's findings, saying:
“Mobile advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry on the rise and a very fertile ground for fraud. The VidMate example, whereby a single app is responsible for 130 million suspicious transaction attempts over a few months, is cause for great concern. The growing sophistication of disguised malware calls for an ever more vigilant approach. In the fight against digital fraud ongoing technological innovation is key.”
- Protect your devices from the latest cyber threats with the best antivirus