Quibi’s shows are fun, familiar, and a little forgettable

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Illustration by Grayson Blackmon / The Verge

It’s far too easy to make fun of Quibi. That’s the first problem. You can start with the name: an overly cute mashup of “quick bites.” It’s easy to say but difficult to attach meaning to — hence a bizarre Super Bowl ad campaign dedicated to explaining it. It’s Netflix, but only for your phone and mostly for those idle moments that are long enough to be felt, yet brief enough that you wouldn’t turn to anything but your phone. You know: waiting in lines, pausing to sip a coffee, sitting in a car while someone runs into a store to grab something. That’s Quibi’s second problem: it was created for a world that doesn’t really exist anymore, one put on hold by a pandemic.

This makes Quibi a harder sell. TV to watch while you’re doing something…

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Nintendo scrambles to address Animal Crossing egg complaints

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons

He wants a fish, but let’s face it, he’s probably just gunna get another egg. | Image; Nintendo

A new patch has been released for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and according to the patch notes it adjusts the amount of eggs that appear as part of the game’s Bunny Day event. Polygon reports that the amount of sky eggs appearing in the game seem to have fallen as a result of the patch, but that the amount of water eggs appear to be unchanged. Still, it’s great news for anyone being driven insane by the constant whooshing of eggs floating overhead.

For the benefit of anyone who’s not currently playing Animal Crossing (read: my editor), the game is currently in the midst of its in-game “Bunny Day” event. It started on April 1st, and runs until Easter Sunday on April 12th. As part of the event, eggs are randomly appearing in the game,…

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How to stream Quibi

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Quibi is the latest streaming service to launch in an increasingly crowded market — and it might be the weirdest one yet. Instead of relying on big franchise names or extensive catalogs of old content, like Disney Plus, Peacock, or HBO Max are doing, Quibi is betting big on a mobile-first strategy. Its “quick bites” of content can be watched in 10 minutes or less, and every piece of content can be seamlessly transitioned between separate vertical and landscape versions.

Interested in trying it out? Here’s everything you need to know about getting started with Quibi:

How much does Quibi cost?

Quibi offers two subscription tiers: a $4.99-per-month option with “some ads” and a $7.99-per-month plan with no ads.

There’s also a limited time…

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Quibi app review: shifting landscape

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

After months of publicity, Quibi — the mobile phone app that’s centered on short, bite-sized original programming — is launching today on iPhone and Android. The platform is the brainchild of entertainment industry giant Jeffrey Katzenberg and seasoned tech executive Meg Whitman, and it has been built from the ground up for smartphones. After investing $1 billion in star power and content production, Quibi is about to find out whether consumers are willing to pay $4.99 (with ads) or $7.99 (ad-free) for shows that last 10 minutes or less.

We’ll have a separate review for Quibi’s launch shows, but I’m focusing more on the app itself. To start, let me reiterate that your phone is the only way to experience Quibi. There’s no TV app, which…

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Quibi is coming, with the worst — or maybe best — timing

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Illustration by Alex Castro

Quibi was never supposed to compete with Netflix or Disney Plus.

The novelty was shortform video for people as they waited for coffee or the bus. The space Quibi intended to seize was the lost minutes in the day — the ones big streamers aren’t competing for. But the COVID-19 pandemic has changed Quibi’s plans as it launches on Monday, April 6th. The question was whether Hollywood icon Jeffrey Katzenberg and Silicon Valley giant Meg Whitman could make a streaming service designed to be enjoyed on the go.

Now Quibi has to compete on the couch.

It’s another obstacle in Quibi’s attempt to break into an already oversaturated market. This is both the best and the worst time to be launching a streaming service. People are hungry for new…

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From The Strategist: The 10 Best Planners for 2020

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Instead of an app or gadget that claims to jump-start your productivity, this year, you should invest in a good paper planner. After all, there’s plenty of research showing that actually writing down your to-do list and schedule for the day — rather than typing it out on a laptop or your iPhone — makes you feel more engaged in the task at hand. And though we’ve written about some of our favorite planners in the past, like this Japanese option, we wanted to find the best planners available. So we reached out to productivity experts, life coaches, and people who just love stationery and know how to get things done and asked them about their favorites. Below, the best life planners, day planners, and planners that will keep you on track in…

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9 new trailers you should watch this week

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One of the few small upsides to the current global mess is that a bunch of movies are hitting streaming services and rental platforms earlier than they otherwise would have: Emma., Onward, and Birds of Prey are on that list, among many others.

Another that’s now streaming early on Hulu is Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which I caught last weekend. It’s a wonderful movie about two women slowly growing closer together over the course of about a week that they’re forced to spend together.

The movie revolves around painting, as the title suggests, but the film also does some really fascinating things with music. There are three moments in the movie where music plays, and in all three cases, you don’t see its origin (a piano, singers, an…

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Save on a Sling TV subscription and discounted gadgets this weekend

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Sling TV hands-on photos

Welcome to the weekend. The best deals you can currently get on tech are a mix of new offers and ones that we’ve collected during the past week. All of them should hopefully make your self-isolation time a little more enjoyable.

Sling TV is offering a free 14-day trial to Sling Blue, the tier of its television streaming service that includes live channels and others like A&E, Bravo, HGTV, Nick Jr., Discovery, Cartoon Network, Food Network, and USA Network. The last day to sign up to take advantage of this promotion is Sunday, April 5th. Signing up gives you free access to Sling TV, and you won’t need to put in a credit card number.

If you like handy gadgets, the KeySmart Pro combines the best tools from a Swiss Army knife…

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This Yves Behar-designed smart weight trainer is the love child of Mirror and Tonal

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As more people seek solutions for working out at home during the global measures to self-quarantine and social distance, another connected fitness equipment enters an increasingly crowded category. Forme, a smart mirror with a weight training system built in, combines the look of the reflective Mirror and the pulleys of Tonal, with a few other touches by industrial designer Yves Behar.

Similar to the Tonal, the Forme uses a hidden resistance system to simulate weight so you can perform push, pull, and lift exercises from various angles at various weights. (The company did not specify the maximum weight it can support.) According to CNN, Forme will also come with a few other accessories like a heart rate monitor and ankle straps for more…

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I threw my boyfriend his birthday party on The Sims because we couldn’t have one in real life

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My family never really had many traditions. Before moving to New York from Bangkok, we didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas, and after my father passed away a few days after my seventh birthday, it was hard to fully celebrate knowing that the week bookends itself with life and death.

After I met my boyfriend, though, we became fond of traditions. Even though he’d grown up with American holidays, he always felt like they were never truly his as opposed to his parents’. When we moved in together, we had vowed to start more as a newfound family, to have something we could call our own.

One tradition that our friends could always rely on was having hot pot on his birthday. It’s a Chinese meal consisting of a center pot of simmering…

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Vergecast: Zoom’s privacy concerns, Apple buys Dark Sky, and Sprint is dead

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

On The Verge’s flagship podcast of working from home, co-hosts of The Vergecast Nilay Patel, Dieter Bohn, and Paul Miller talk to Verge senior editor Tom Warren about the privacy and security backlash that videoconferencing software Zoom is facing after a surge in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. What is Zoom doing to fix these issues to continue its strong lead? Well, I left a hyperlink of the episode here for you to find out.

The crew also looks back at the history of Sprint after it finally merged with T-Mobile. Where did Sprint go wrong, and what’s next for Sprint customers? That information is contained in a podcast app of your choosing.

Here’s what else happens in the show: Paul’s weekly segment “If I were a rich man”…

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Apex Legends to add permanent duo mode and map rotation starting April 7th

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Image: Respawn

Respawn’s battle royale title Apex Legends will add a permanent duos playlist to the game starting April 7th, the developer announced on Thursday. The decision is a welcome one for fans of the game who have long clamored for more variety in how the game can be played without needing to login for a special, limited-time event.

Also starting the same day is permanent map rotation, so players will be dropping into both Kings Canyon and World’s Edge. It’s not clear if players will be able to choose — Respawn doesn’t say explicitly how the map rotation will work. It’s likely it will be random, and it appears the map rotation and duos playlist will be for casual, noncompetitive play to start. The competitive mode still requires three-player…

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Apple’s new iPad Pro cuts off the microphone when its case is closed to prevent snooping

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Photo by Brennan King / The Verge

Recent MacBooks have included a security feature that shuts off the microphone at a hardware level when the lid is closed. Apple has now introduced the same feature on iPads, beginning with the 2020 iPad Pro. The iPad doesn’t have a lid, of course, so Apple instead activates the mic cut-off whenever a case with the company’s “Made for iPad” certification is closed over the screen. This should work with Apple’s own Smart Folio, Smart Keyboard Folio, and the upcoming Magic Keyboard (due out in May), among other third-party cases.

The feature is outlined in the latest version of Apple’s Platform Security guide, originally spotted by 9to5Mac. As the guide highlights, the disconnect means that no software can engage the microphone when the…

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Beats and Bose noise-canceling headphones are $50 off at Amazon

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Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

A few popular noise-canceling headphones are discounted today, including the new Beats Solo Pro over-ear wireless headphones. These usually cost $300, and they’re $50 off today at Amazon. Each color is discounted, so whether standard black, red, or sky blue is your favorite hue, the choice is yours.

This model features Apple’s new H1 wireless chip that makes it fast and easy to pair with your Apple devices. It also enables you to say “Hey, Siri” to the headphones to issue a command without touching your iPhone or Apple Watch.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The Bose Noise Cancelling 700 Headphones are also seeing a $50 discount at Amazon, down from their usual $399 price point. These are currently our top…

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Godzilla’s monsters are coming to Magic: The Gathering

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Image: Wizards of the Coast

Godzilla is coming to the Magic: The Gathering trading card game, Wizards of the Coast has announced. 16 Godzilla-themed cards will be available in the English-language version of the upcoming Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths card set, featuring monsters like Mothra, King Ceasar, and Rodan. They’ll be available in Magic’s digital version, Magic: The Gathering Arena, on April 16th, with a physical release following on May 15th. Three additional cards will be exclusive to Japan.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that one of the 16 cards, Spacegodzilla, isn’t going to be around for long as a physical card, after its full name ended up being pretty insensitive in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spacegodzilla’s primary attack is the “Corona…

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Deadpool has arrived in Fortnite

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When the current season of Fortnite debuted, one of the most curious elements was the appearance of Deadpool. The Marvel anti-hero was present in various elements of the game — you could find him hidden away in a bathroom in the main battle pass menu — but you couldn’t actually play as him. That changes today, however, with the debut of a new Deadpool skin.

The skin is available to everyone who purchased this season’s battle pass, and it’s pretty easy to unlock; all you have to do is find two pistols hidden in the menu screens. Once you do that, simply head into a match and change into the Deadpool skin at any of the phone booths littered across the island.

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What is Twitch, even?

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Twitch is difficult to describe, to understand, and to start using. It is also incredibly rewarding once you get the hang of it, which is the way these things tend to go: the harder it is to get into something, the more you’ll like your mastery of it. I’ve been writing about Twitch and its various ecosystems for a little while now, and lately more and more people have been reaching out to me to ask variations on the same two questions: What is Twitch, and why should I care about it? How do I start streaming?

The answers to those two questions, I think, capture the entirety of the Twitch experience; contained between them is a whole universe of streamers, emotes, games, communities, and gear. I figured I should take some time to explain,…

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Marvel is making some of its comics free while we’re all stuck inside

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Image: Marvel

Marvel is offering a selection of free comics through its Marvel Unlimited subscription service until May 4th, providing a source of much-needed entertainment for the legions of us currently stuck at home. The comics can be accessed via Marvel Unlimited’s Android or iOS apps, or via its website, without the need to enter any payment info or start a trial subscription.

There’s a good selection of free comics available, and there are some stories in there that you should be familiar with even if — like me — your knowledge of Marvel only extends as far as its cinematic entries. There’s X-Men’s Dark Phoenix Saga, Civil War, and Captain America’s Winter Soldier arc. Here’s the full list:

  • Avengers vs. X-Men
  • Civil War
  • Amazing Spider-Man: Red…

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Epic Games reveals new mobile game Spyjinx in collaboration with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Games

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Image: Epic Games

Fortnite creator Epic has revealed a new mobile game developed in collaboration with J.J. Abrams’ game development company Bad Robot Games, a spinoff of his production studio Bad Robot that was formed back in 2018 with funding from Epic investor Tencent. Abrams previously collaborated with Epic to debut a trailer of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker within Fortnite.

The title, called Spyjinx, is an espionage and secret agent-themed action adventure game that appears to let you build your own hideout, level up your character, and compete in some form of online multiplayer to take on other players. It looks like it borrows heavily from the art style of Fortnite, specifically the recent second season of Fortnite Chapter 2 that also happens…

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