The biggest news of the last 24 hours are undoubtedly Apple's new services, but Sony also had a few things to talk about in its first ever State of Play livestream worth. Oh, and there are more AirPower stuff. Heh.
Apple News: Services!
Apple announced a lot of news yesterday, but still the details were pretty bright. We now know that.
- First is News +, the book magazine and newspaper service of the company. It's actually really cool. And now available! [Engadget]
- Then we have Arcade, an interesting variant of mobile gaming. You pay a (not yet known) fee and play all the games that are available on the service. I'm curious. [Ars Technica, Gizmodo]
- The TV -App (not to be confused with Apple TV the product) receives a revision to accommodate all the streaming services in one place. Oh, and there are Smart TVs, Roku devices, and Fire TV. That's huge. [Apple Insider, 9to5Mac]
- Then there is TV + (not to be confused with TV of the app or TV of the product ), home of Apple's new original content. There were many celebrities who had announced this (including Oprah itself), but prices and availability were nowhere to be found. Cool. [Engadget]
- Apple has also registered a credit card. It is made of titanium, is basically baked in Apple Pay and focuses on privacy. It sounds really cool and just as exaggerated. I … somehow I want one. [The Verge, Gizmodo]
- The entire event lasted about an hour and 50 minutes, but if you use the TL; DR version, MacRumors condensed this wicked boy to six action-packed minutes. [MacRumors on YouTube]
- In the unannounced yesterday's news AirPower made another surprising appearance. This time on the AirPods 2 packaging. They are just mocking us at this point. [9to5Mac]
- iOS 1
- Deep in the depths of iOS 12.2, the AirPods competitor was discovered by Beats. Does that mean that Apple will compete with itself? [Engadget]
- In dramatically different news, Apple confirmed that its stores in Frisco and Plano, TX, are closed. Strange man. [9to5Mac]
Last week (ish) was surprisingly busy for Apple; Last week, new iPads and iMacs as well as updated AirPods were announced. All this led to yesterday's event, which focused on the new services that have been cooking for some time. While some were already available – like News + – others just got the basic timetable for the later New Year.
For me, the most surprising announcement was the Apple Card. Sure, it's been a rumor for a few weeks now, but it's quite another to actually see it and get the details. It makes a lot of sense that it was essentially "made" for Apple Pay – getting more people to use the service is after all the name of the game. Most perks, such as two percent cashback on daily purchases and three percent on Apple purchases, are pretty standard and nothing to really write home about.
The true appeal of the Apple Card is privacy. For starters, the physical card has no number, no CVV code and no expiration date. It is made of titanium and is engraved in your name. It is extremely clean. Where you use the card, what you buy and how much you spend is not tracked at all – all financial aspects of the card are dealt with on the device. Goldman Sachs, the partner bank, and MasterCard have both promised not to sell your data to advertisers.
I honestly could talk a lot more about that, but for the sake of brevity, I'll stop there. This card is intriguing, and I'm sure it will end up in the hands of many Apple users. Good game, Apple.
Google and Android News: Apple Music on Chromebooks
With Apple and its new services so heavily in focus, it should come as no surprise that most other companies yesterday were relatively quiet. This is an area where you just do not want to join. Nevertheless, there have been some interesting news about Google / Android in the last 24 hours.
- The Apple Music Android app has been updated with the support of Chromebooks, which is honestly such a strange update for me. Do not get me wrong – it's great! – It's not something that I thought Apple would ever deal with. [AppleInsider]
- Similarly, Apple Music was installed on 40 million Android devices. These are many devices, especially for an Apple service for Android. [AppleInsider]
- Remember the $ 599 Celeron Pixel Slate? Well, not Google either. It seems to be dead, even before he could even live. [9to5Google]
- Samsung has announced the Galaxy A70, but on April 10 there's still an event to announce more Galaxy A stuff, maybe? Who knows. [Samsung]
- If you've always wanted the reassuring voice of John Legend in your Google homepage, the time is up. [9to5Google]
The missing cheap Pixel Slate is Google's thing: you need to announce a product, talk about it, and never release it. Perhaps the m3 and i5 / 7 models flew off the shelves at a speed that led them to rethink the basic Slate model. Or maybe it was just garbage all the time and should not be advertised at all. The world may never know.
Everything Else: PlayStation News, Xiaomi's Super Fast Charging, and More
Sony had a "State of Play" announcement yesterday for the first time, with a surprising number of PlayStation VR games. It turned out that PSVR is more popular than I thought. Like, by the way more.
- Sony announced yesterday that it has sold an incredible 4.2 million PSVR units. This is not sent to manufacturers – we are talking about actual units strapped to people's faces. Wild. [Gizmodo]
- And do you know something else? Five nights at Freddy's at PSVR. It looks serious, quite legitimate. I would play it [MSPowerUser]
- In less good news, Sony will no longer allow retailers to sell PS4 download codes. Funny flex, but okay. [The Verge]
- In other Sony news (but not on PlayStation), the company has just announced a new action cam with a swivel screen. It will, however, bring you $ 700. Ouch. [The Verge]
- In many terrifying news, there was a flaw on ASUS computers that allowed hijackers to essentially take control of update servers and install backdoors on half a million machines. Oof. [Engadget]
- The good news is that ASUS has already fixed the problem. [Engadget]
- Xiaomi showed a 100 watt quick charger that can discharge a 4000 mAh battery in just 17 minutes. And maybe caught fire? [Liliputing]
- Huawei announced a pair of new phones this morning: P30 and P30 Pro. They leaked some time ago, but now they are as legitimate as they come. [XDA Developers]
- Also announced is a set of wireless headsets connected and charged via the UBS-C port on your phone. That seems … interesting. [Engadget]
Although I'm a tough PlayStation guy, I have never personally seen a PSVR. It is crazy for me that Sony has moved 4.2 million units, but yesterday State of Play clearly confirmed that the company is all-in for the PSVR – at least half of the games shown in the 20-minute stream , were for VR. It was surprising, but now everything makes sense.