Hello, folks, this is Friday, October 21st, 2016 and just like always we’re back with our daily news. This week’s news covers Nintendo’s new gaming console, the Nintendo Switch, Samsung’s new powerhouse of a PC called ArtPC, Cyanogen’s plan of developing a modular OS, Facebook’s new messaging app for low-end devices, Messenger Lite, Kodak’s new smartphone, The Ektra, Android 7.1 beta rollout and to top it all off, some exciting new Pokémon Go news. There’s a lot too discuss so without any more delay, let’s get started.
Nintendo Launches a New Gaming Console the Nintendo Switch
Nintendo fans have probably waited a long time for the reveal of the console codenamed Nintendo NX. The console finally saw daylight this week and is set to go on sale in March 2017. The Switch takes a unique approach to gaming. It’s basically a tablet which you can take along with you to have some on the go action or have it docked to your TV to get some laid back Legends of Zelda. Nintendo’s home and portable gaming libraries will now be combined on a single platform, which means they no longer have to support their entire line-up with two releases for the same title.
The hardware itself is quite innovative, the Switch has buttons on either sides which let you have some serious single-player time and when you want to beat your friend on the game of Mario cart, you can separate the thing by breaking it off into two like a Kit Kat Bar. You can also use a single controller to control the game just like a Wii. These controllers are called the Joy Con and they can be assembled together to form a single controller, the Joy Con Grip. The games will be sold on small memory card sized cartridges and pricing and detail are to be announced later.
Samsung Releases a Desktop Work Station that Looks Like the Mac Pro
Samsung has had a long history of copying Apple. Perhaps they took the “Good artists copy, Great artists steal” by Steve Jobs too seriously. All the attention that Samsung has recently received is for their explosive Note 7 (pun intended totally) but amidst the explosive phone that Samsung released there was one more piece of tech that the Korean smartphone manufacturer didn’t get any credit for and it is the Art PC Pulse. While it looks nothing like the Mac Pro, you can clearly see what served as the inspiration. The specs, however aren’t that fascinating. The ArtPC ships with 256GB SSD which is a big fat “meh” compared to the Mac Pro. The RAM is also not close to decent, it’s only 8 gigs which is standard on most PCs that ship today. It comes with AMD’s Radeon RX 460 GPU which is again a disappointment considering the price tag its come with. The ArtPC is available for $1,999.
Cyanogen Building a Modular OS After Failed Plans of Putting a Bullet through Google’s Head
If you are a regular visitor of this blog then you might have read our coverage of Cyanogen, the ROM creator with bold plans of putting a bullet through Google’s head. And ever since they made that claim, they’ve faced some serious criticism. After failing at multiple partnerships like OnePlus and Yu televentures, the company pivoted multiple times. There were recent rumours of the company shutting down but they took to the press to kill rumors about that happening. Today we have another addition to that story. Cyanogen the company is now launching a modular OS program.
Their blog reads “In keeping with our common mission of creating a truly open, collaborative and unrestricted Android platform, we are today announcing a new Cyanogen Modular OS program. It is designed to achieve the original objective of an open and smarter Android without the limitations of requiring the full Cyanogen OS stack and individual device bring-ups.” It is aimed at bringing greater flexibility for manufacturers who want to bring customizable smartphones using the dynamic modules that Cyanogen provides. At the same time, the program will offer the broader eco-system and developers the opportunity to tap into Cyanogen’s expanding Artificial Intelligence cloud services, which learn usage patterns throughout the operating system and introduce smarter and more effective ways to resolve intent and interact with smartphones in a personalized and highly contextual way.
Facebook Launched the Messenger Lite App for Lower End Smartphones
The Facebook suite of apps have been the number one across all platforms for a significantly long time now. Facebook has also been very vocal about how it plans to bring the next billion people online and has invested in numerous such projects. A result of these initiatives was the Facebook Lite app which was targeted towards the developing countries where downloading large apps on a data cap is often a hit in the wallet. In an attempt to make connectivity more accessible and affordable and allowing them to access the network of friends at the same time, Facebook has released Messenger Lite, a lightweight version of Facebook Messenger that we all love. The app is stripped down in a lot of ways and the launch of the app marks the efforts of Facebook trying to get into the developing countries.
Kodak Launches it’s First Android-Powered Handset, The Ektra
There was a time when point and shoots were the de facto standards for casual photography and then came the smartphones, the ergonomic and fairly inexpensive (compared to DSLRs) devices which changed the way we think about photography. The rate at which smartphone camera quality has been improving is quite astonishing, their literally giving the DSLR a run for their money. And hence the once bankrupt company is trying to get back in the business and the Ektra is their first attempt at making it back again. The
The Ektra has a 21-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 aperture and Sony’s IMX230 image sensor (also found in 2015’s Xperia Z3+), as well as 3GB of RAM, 32GB of memory, and a MediaTek Helio X20 processor. It also runs Android 6.0. Although it has some fairly reasonable specs it’s still not trying to beat the competition with the likes of the iPhone 7 and Google Pixel, instead it’s replying on the Kodak name to market it. The Ektra packs a 3,000mAh and comes with Snapseed app pre installed. The Kodak Ektra goes on sale in the UK and Europe for £449 this December.
Google Releases the Factory Images for Android 7.1
Last week we covered the Android 7.1 release announcements and in just about a week Google took the wraps off their latest release of the popular OS. The new update is available exclusively for the Nexus and Pixel devices as of now. But it packs in some new features, the 7.1 release brings with it app shortcuts, image keyboard support, support for round icons and much more. The update is available under the Android beta program and if your device is eligible, you can get the update today.
Latest Release of Pokémon Go Stops Spawning Pokémon if You Drive too Fast
Ok, I accept we didn’t really bring you any news on the Pokémon front for the past couple of weeks and we’re all in to change that. The latest update to Pokémon Go stops spawning Pokémon if you are driving and ar beyond a speed limit. This is to ensure the safety of players, travelling over 30 MPH will put an immediate stop to Pokémon spawning, regardless of which seat you’re occupying in the car. This may stop those players from speeding up to catch a monster on the highway but there are still many spots where 30 miles per hour is the speed limit so it’s definitely a half baked measure to avoid accidents. traveling over 30 MPH will put an immediate stop to Pokémon spawning, regardless of which seat you’re occupying in the car.
That’s it folks! See you all next week!