The Google Play Store’s redesign is cleaner but not greener

See the original posting on The Verge

The Google Play Store is getting a fresh new look, which, like most of Google’s redesigns of late, nixes the colorful green header in favor of a brighter and whiter style. (The Gmail app similarly lost its red header earlier this year as part of the same Material Design revamp.)

Like the iOS App Store — which got a similar redesign two years ago — the new Play Store now has separate tabs for apps, games, books, and another for movies and TV shows. The tab bar will appear on the bottom for phones and in a sidebar on tablets and Chrome OS devices. Google will also only show icons in the Play Store with rounded rectangles, just like iOS, which gives the whole storefront a more cohesive and consistent look.

Continue reading…

Dell’s latest XPS 13 and Inspiron laptops feature Intel’s Comet Lake 10th Gen CPUs

See the original posting on The Verge

Dell has announced a refresh of its XPS 13 laptop ahead of IFA 2019, and each configuration will be built with Intel’s new U-series Comet Lake 10th Gen processors. The most affordable model starts at $899 and features the Intel Core i3-10110U. Dell will offer a high-end model with the souped-up hexacore Intel Core i7-10710U CPU beginning in October.

All XPS 13 configurations use LPDDR3 Dual-Channel SDRAM, which is slightly disappointing since Intel’s new 10th Gen CPUs support faster LPDDR4x RAM. This aside, having a more capable, efficient processor in the best laptop you can buy is a good thing. If you’re in the market for the XPS 13, I’d recommend waiting at least until these hit shelves next week.

Dell also notes that its XPS 13…

Continue reading…

An MCU breakup could be a terrific step forward for Spider-Man

See the original posting on The Verge

Warning: This essay contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Interviews with the filmmakers behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe almost always get around to what seems to be the studio’s core creative ethos: paint yourself into a corner, then find a creative way to get out of it. That mission statement inspired the snap in Avengers: Infinity War and the big secret-identity reveal that ends Spider-Man: Far From Home. And while creative inspiration probably wasn’t at the top of anyone’s mind during the business impasse that reportedly dissolved the partnership between Sony (which owns the current film rights to Spider-Man and his rogues’ gallery) and the Disney-owned Marvel Studios, that unexpected split could…

Continue reading…

Here’s what The Verge wants out of a fourth Matrix movie

See the original posting on The Verge

Photo: Warner Bros.

On August 20th, social media was suddenly abuzz with the official announcement that Lana Wachowski, half of the sibling team behind the original Matrix trilogy, is officially making a fourth Matrix movie with original stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss. The announcement instantly sparked fervid speculation: where could a fourth Matrix movie even go since the trilogy-capper, 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions, killed off Reeves and Moss’ characters and seemingly ended the war between man and machine? How do you continue a story that so pointedly wrapped up its loose ends?

There are certainly a lot of possible answers in a series that consciously, from the start, played with the break between fantasy and reality and ended with the kind of…

Continue reading…

THX’s iconic tone just got upgraded for the 4K era

See the original posting on The Verge

THX’s long-running “bwonnnnnnnnnnnnnng” Deep Tone sound that plays before movies just got a lavish new update.

It’s still recognizable to cinephiles, but the version heard in the trailer above is much crisper than the original tone that played before Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi in 1983. There have been more than 20 remixed versions of the tone since then, including special versions made for The Simpsons and Shrek. Everyone knows it! It’s a meme! People remix the tone into their songs because it’s universally understood.

As the company got older and the industry changed from digital to film — from VHS to DVD and beyond — the Deep Tone has managed to stay relevant. The newest iteration is here to celebrate the 4K era. We’re…

Continue reading…

Sony’s Xperia XZ2 Compact is only $250 at B&H Photo

See the original posting on The Verge

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Sony’s Xperia XZ2 Compact, the company’s small flagship phone introduced in early 2018, is just $250 right now at B&H Photo. This device, which comes in silver, usually sells for around $500. If you’re looking for an unlocked phone with capable specs and support for Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile, this is a great deal.

The XZ2 Compact has a five-inch, 2160 x 1080 display, making it a good fit if you prefer smaller phones. It ships with Android 8 Oreo and comes equipped with a Snapdragon 845 processor with 4GB of RAM, so it’s roughly on par with the Google Pixel 3 in terms of specs. This device is rated IP68, and it features a microSD card for expandable storage.

The black color option is sold out, so that’s a good clue that this deal might…

Continue reading…

Intel introduces eight new 10th Gen Comet Lake processors

See the original posting on The Verge

Intel has introduced a slate of new processors to add to its 10th Gen lineup. Today’s announcement focuses on its Comet Lake CPUs, resulting in even more Y- and U-series CPUs to decipher.

All eight of these new 10th Gen processors use Intel’s 14nm process, not Ice Lake’s 10nm process. That doesn’t make these bad, per se. Notably, the new Intel Core i7-10710U is its first hexacore U-series processor, and it features 12 threads and a higher max clock speed than some of Intel’s Ice Lake processors.

The new 14nm chips will lack the benefits that the 10nm chips have, though. On the whole, these likely won’t be as efficient nor will they tout the same kind of excellent battery life as machines that feature Ice Lake chips. None of them…

Continue reading…

Ninja’s first book isn’t literature — it’s a brand extension

See the original posting on The Verge

US-ESPORT-FORTNITE-NINJA-TWITCH-MIXER

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

While I paged through Ninja’s first book — with its few words sandwiched between high-gloss promotional photos and charts — I got the distinct feeling that I was consuming something from the future. The book, Get Good: My Ultimate Guide to Gaming, is itself gamified; it has a progress bar, for example, near the page numbers that’s akin to the one under most videos online. The text is big and pops, as they say, and the pages are broken up with the kind of interesting graphic design that you used to find inside of books at Urban Outfitters. Scattered throughout are shoutouts to Red Bull, his main sponsor.

As Ninja, the first celebrity gamer, Tyler Blevins has played Fortnite with Drake, made millions of dollars off streaming his gameplay…

Continue reading…

Amazon Music gets its first smartwatch app

See the original posting on The Verge

Image: Garmin

Amazon has released its first smartwatch app for its music streaming service. Starting today, Amazon Music is available on select Garmin smartwatches, allowing subscribers to download and play music from their wrist. If you have a Prime subscription, then you can access 2 million tracks from Amazon Music, while Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers get access to the service’s full library of 50 million songs.

Amazon Music is just the latest music streaming service to arrive on Garmin smartwatches. The iHeartRadio app was first to appear, followed by Deezer, and then Spotify. There’s no word on whether apps from Apple Music, Pandora, or SoundCloud will appear on the platform.

The Amazon Music app is available to download now from Garmin’s…

Continue reading…

SimpliSafe’s new $99 smart lock automatically bolts when you arm your alarm

See the original posting on The Verge

We’ve called SimpliSafe the best home security system you can install yourself — and while there’s a reported vulnerability we now need to test, I’m pretty sure existing owners will want to hear about the company’s latest product: the SimpliSafe Smart Lock.

It’s coming September 15th for $99, and it’s designed to work pretty closely with SimpliSafe’s latest alarm system — to the point it can automatically lock the door when you arm your alarm, or even stop it from locking when your door’s open if that door has a contact sensor. That way, you don’t accidentally smash a beefy deadbolt into your doorframe.

Mind you, some rival alarm systems like Amazon’s Ring Alarm and Google’s Nest Secure already let you arm and disarm…

Continue reading…

Sony pulls Spider-Man out of the MCU over profit-sharing dispute with Disney

See the original posting on The Verge

Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has pulled out of producing future Spider-Man movies, due to disputes between Sony — which still holds the rights to the character — and Marvel’s parent company Disney over revenue sharing from films starring the web-slinging hero, according to a report from Deadline.

The news means that Spider-Man’s appearances in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe films — as well as crossovers from characters like Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man or Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in future Spider-Man films — could end with Spider-Man: Far From Home, released earlier this summer.

According to Deadline’s sources, the issue is money: Disney reportedly asked that future Spider-Man films be 50…

Continue reading…

The Twitter Emoji Mashup Bot is now available as free iMessage stickers

See the original posting on The Verge

One of Twitter’s best accounts, the Emoji Mashup Bot — which smushes together two or three random emojis to generate a hybrid emoji every hour — has just released a free iMessage sticker pack. Although the bot, created by 18-year-old student Louan Bengmah, has created countless combinations since it was created in July, the iMessage sticker pack is limited to a select choice of 29 very good emoji.

Here’s one for when you’re crying in the club:

One to use when you’re blasting Old Town Road in the car on your way to the Area 51 raid:

Continue reading…

Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne-Moss are making a fourth Matrix movie

See the original posting on The Verge

Photo: Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. has just announced a fourth film in the Matrix series, with original stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss set to reprise their iconic roles as Neo and Trinity, respectively. Lana Wachowski is set to write and direct the sequel, via Variety.

The news comes after rumors earlier this year from John Wick: Chapter 3 director Chad Stahelski that the Wachowski sisters were working on a new installment in the franchise. But rumors about a new Matrix film have been swirling practically since the third installment — The Matrix Revolutions — was released in 2003.

That said, it appears that only Lana Wachowski is returning for the upcoming film, with her sister Lilly (who co-directed and co-wrote the original…

Continue reading…

Netflix’s TV app can now remind you when new shows are released

See the original posting on The Verge

Netflix

Netflix doesn’t want people to forget about shows they plan to watch in the future. The company is updating its TV app with a “Latest” section that’ll list movies and TV show seasons that’ll be released that week and the one following, according to Variety. Listed titles will have a trailer, and users can ask to be reminded when a program they want to watch becomes available, meaning people will likely receive a notification when they open the app. The list is curated to individual members and their taste.

The section is coming to smart TVs, streaming devices, and game consoles around the world today, and it’s located on the app’s sidebar. It’ll be updated daily. The feature is similar to the “coming soon” section that’s already…

Continue reading…

You should opt out of the Apple Card’s arbitration clause — here’s how

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple Card payment screen in Apple Wallet

So you’ve heard about Apple’s new credit card, and you want to give it a try. Before you sign on the dotted line, there is at least one aspect of Apple’s agreement (besides any fees and percentage rates) that you’ll want to pay attention to: the arbitration clause.

Arbitration clauses have become extremely popular in agreements between companies and consumers — and for good reason. When you agree to arbitration, you are basically putting most of the advantages in the company’s court. For example, most arbitration clauses deny you the opportunity to become part of a class action suit or to individually sue the company. Instead, an arbitrator (often chosen by the company) reviews the case and then makes a ruling that cannot be appealed.

In…

Continue reading…

I can’t wrap my feeble American brain around this massive bike parking garage in the Netherlands

See the original posting on The Verge

Petra Appelhof

Today, I was nearly killed no less than three times while biking from my apartment in Brooklyn to my office in Lower Manhattan. But don’t worry! This is pretty normal for America’s largest city, where a staggering 19 cyclists have been killed in just 2019 alone.

So you can imagine my bafflement when I finally sat down at my desk, sweaty and stressed out from my close brushes with death, and the first thing I see when opening up Twitter was this video of a newly finished bike parking garage in the Dutch city of Utrecht.

Serene images of row after row of double-decker bike racks, with space for 12,500 (!) bicycles,…

Continue reading…

How carbon nanotubes built this bizarre ultrablack material

See the original posting on The Verge

Imagine shining a flashlight on a black surface and seeing… nothing. This happened to me back in June outside a small coastal town in the UK. I was at Surrey NanoSystems, the company that makes the black material I was marveling at. It’s called Vantablack, and it’s one of the darkest substances on Earth.

Vantablack is made from carbon nanotubes, which are tiny carbon cylinders with walls as thin as one atom. These structures absorb any light that touches the surface by trapping the photons until they are almost completely absorbed. This makes it confusing to look at, flattening 3D objects as flat, empty black blobs. With no reflection to guide us, it just looks like a hole in space.

It’s not just a parlor trick. Carbon nanotubes have…

Continue reading…

1 2 3 1,644