Gadgets, Game & Mobile News

Moon Knight Is Returning for Season 2, Oscar Isaac Suggests in TikTok - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2022-08-03 19:01
The show's executive producer tweets a TikTok video of himself and star Oscar Isaac in Egypt.

Google decided having two apps called Meet was a good idea

Engadget - Wed, 2022-08-03 17:01

Google is moving forward with its merger of Duo and Meet, if not quite as elegantly as some might like. TechCrunchreports Google is rebranding Duo for Android and iOS as the Meet app, complete with the video calling-centric logo. The company had already migrated many of Meet's features. However, the old Meet app isn't going away for now — instead, it will be rebranded as "Google Meet (original)."

All Duo users should see the rebrand by September. You'll have to use your Google account for any meeting features, but familiar elements (like effects and contacts) will remain intact. The original Meet app will continue to work, but won't get ad hoc calling and will eventually disappear.

As a spokesperson explained in June, the merger is meant to adapt to the "evolving needs" of video calling, including meetings, by providing a unified experience. To some extent, it's also further acknowledgment that Google's communication app mix had grown too complex. The tech firm plans to shut down Hangouts this fall to focus on Chat, for instance, and it dropped Allo in early 2019. While the old Meet's existence could still prove confusing, it should soon be clearer as to just which Google apps you should use for work meetings or keeping up with friends.

Best Wired TV Streamer to Save Your Home's Wi-Fi Bandwidth - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2022-08-03 17:00
Streaming Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Disney Plus or Hulu can occupy your Wi-Fi. Try running an Ethernet connection instead.

You Can Buy Concert Tickets on TikTok. Here's How. - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2022-08-03 16:54
TikTok is partnering with Ticketmaster on a new feature that will let you buy event tickets with a just few clicks.

Meta Is Pulling the Plug on Facebook Live Shopping - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2022-08-03 16:32
Live Shopping will shut down in October, after which the company will focus on Reels on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook Live Shopping is coming to an end in favor of Reels

Engadget - Wed, 2022-08-03 16:25

Facebook Live Shopping events appear to be another casualty of Meta’s shift to short-form video. According to an announcement on the company’s website, live shopping events on Facebook will retire on October 1st. The little-known feature let Facebook Business owners showcase their products in live videos to their followers — sort of like a personal Home Shopping Network. Merchants could notify their Page followers of upcoming live shopping sessions and take payments through Messenger.

In lieu of such sessions, Meta is asking merchants to consider showcasing products via Reels, Reels ads and product tagging on Instagram Reels. “As consumers’ viewing behaviors are shifting to short-form video, we are shifting our focus to Reels on Facebook and Instagram, Meta’s short-form video product,” wrote Meta in its post.

It’s no surprise that Meta is pushing more merchants towards Reels and Reels ads, especially given the fact that the latter reached a $1 billion annual revenue run rate in the second quarter of this year. Much to the chagrin of users that miss seeing their friends, Instagram and increasingly Facebook has continued to emphasize in-feed ads and suggested posts on user feeds. But thanks to a recent user-led backlash, Instagram has agreed to scale back the testing of its recommendation and video-centric features — but only temporarily.

Over the past two years, TikTok’s status as the reigning app of Gen Z has led other social media platforms to make some strategic changes to cater to a younger audience. In light of Meta’s first quarterly revenue loss since going public, CEO Mark Zuckerberg pointed to Reels on Facebook and Instagram as a crucial part of the company’s recovery plan. Instagram users now spend nearly 20 percent of their time on the app watching Reels, though it’s likely a significant amount of this time was spent watching reposted TikToks — leading to the platform making some algorithmic tweaks to downrank videos from its competitor.

Meanwhile, Meta is continuing to make a push for users to create more original content on Reels. In a recent video, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said more of the platform would emphasize video “over time” — despite criticism from followers who miss Instagram’s earlier focus on photos. Last month Instagram began testing automatically turning videos shared on public Instagram accounts into Reels and adding a number of templates and tools to make it easier to create Reels.

College textbook maker Pearson eyes NFTs to claim a cut of second-hand sales

Engadget - Wed, 2022-08-03 16:10

NFT advocates often tout the technology's ability to grant the creator a cut of second-hand sales as one of its major attributes. Artists can earn from one of their digital creations years after first selling it. Others are looking at NFTs to earn a buck from the secondary market too, including the publishers of college textbooks.

Pearson, which said in 2019 it would focus on digital textbook sales, wants a piece of the action. “In the analogue world, a Pearson textbook was resold up to seven times, and we would only participate in the first sale,” CEO Andy Bird told Bloomberg this week. “The move to digital helps diminish the secondary market, and technology like blockchain and NFTs allows us to participate in every sale of that particular item as it goes through its life."

There's an obvious reason why students resell textbooks. They're expensive! Students often have to spend hundreds of dollars on required materials each semester — or even hundreds of dollars on a single textbook. Selling on a textbook when it's no longer needed just makes sense.

Turning textbooks into NFTs and banking on the blockchain to track ownership of them (from “owner A to owner B to owner C,” as Bird put it) seems unnecessary, though. Digital rights management already exists and doesn't need to go anywhere near cryptocurrency. Pearson has a $15 per month subscription service for its textbooks as well.

Bird could simply be bloviating about a zeitgeisty technology to try and keep Pearson's investors happy — even though NFT sales have plummeted this year. In any case, there's still not much he or Pearson could do to stop students from screenshotting every page of a textbook before selling it on.

'Joker 2' Movie Gets Oct 2024 Release Date - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2022-08-03 16:10
The second Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie is set to come out five years after the first.

She-Hulk's Disney Plus Premiere Delayed 1 Day, Episodes to Stream Thursdays - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2022-08-03 16:03
The Marvel series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is set to kick off on Aug. 18.

Biden's Second Executive Order on Abortion Supports Interstate Travel - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2022-08-03 15:59
The president directs Medicaid to provide funding for out-of-state abortion care.

Twitter hopes to revive Spaces with themed stations and daily digests

Engadget - Wed, 2022-08-03 15:44

Twitter is overhauling its Spaces audio chatrooms. The company has confirmed to TechCrunch that it's developing an experiment for the Spaces tab in its social media app. While it didn't say just what that would entail, early screenshots of test code from Watchful hint at a revised interface with major feature additions. You could browse themed stations (such as music or sports), or play a personalized daily digest with a handful of content.

The company warned TechCrunch that the screens were outdated and didn't reflect what you'd see in the final product. The revamp appears to take advantage of Spaces' support for topic tags that help you quickly find a relevant chatroom.

The rethink could help newcomers discover Spaces, not to mention expand it beyond the business and cryptocurrency users that frequently dominate the discussions. While it's not clear how many people currently use Spaces, the current interface is aimed more at veteran users.

Whether or not the update is timely is another matter. The audio chatroom phenomenon has lost some of its momentum, with pioneer Clubhouse laying off staff as it shifts strategy. While Twitter, Meta and Spotify all leaped into the field soon after Clubhouse's rise to prominence, it's not clear these piggyback efforts took off. Internal data obtained by The Washington Post suggested that Spaces was already in decline last summer with under 1 million users by July 2021. The audio chat bubble might have popped a while back, in other words, and there's no guarantee a Spaces redesign will help.

'Bullet Train' review: Brad Pitt Action Flick Is Off The Rails in the Best Way - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2022-08-03 15:43
Grosse Pointe Blank meets Looney Tunes (on a train) in this gleefully silly hitman black comedy.

Why 'The Orville: New Horizons' Deserves More Attention - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2022-08-03 15:20
Commentary: It's the sci-fi series that out Star Treks Star Trek.

Winamp, your parents' favorite MP3 software, is back

Engadget - Wed, 2022-08-03 15:10

Winamp is the music software that just won't die, apparently. Pitchforknotes that the developers recently released the classic MP3 program's first update (5.9 RC1 Build 9999) in four years. While it isn't a dramatic change on the outside, the producers described it as the "culmination" of years of hard work, including two teams and a pandemic-dictated hiatus. There are significant under-the-hood changes, including a migration to a much newer development platform.

The software has a long history. Winamp gained fame as the playback software of choice during the early music download era — it was the home for all the MP3s you (or possibly your parents) got from fledgling digital stores and peer-to-peer apps. It played numerous common formats, and was well-known for its highly customizable interface skins and visualizers.

Parent company AOL (formerly Engadget's owner) shut down work in 2013, years after rival apps and streaming options like Spotify took hold, but that wasn't the end. Radionomy bought Winamp in 2014 to aid its online music plans. and the team has lately promised a "totally remastered" experience with podcast and radio features as well as a closer connection to artists.

Winamp's return won't revive the turn-of-the-millennium digital zeitgeist. Streaming still dominates, and there's a chance you listen on your phone or smart speaker more than you do your PC. If the llama-themed startup sound is permanently etched in your brain, though, this could be a welcome dose of nostalgia.

Apple might delay iPadOS 16 release until October

Engadget - Wed, 2022-08-03 14:53

Apple tends to roll out its major software versions on a regular cadence, with iPhone and iPad updates usually dropping soon after its after its big annual hardware event in September. Things could be different this year, though. Bloomberg reports that Apple might delay iPadOS 16 by a month or so.

The main issue is said to be with the Stage Manager multitasking tool, which will only be available on M1-powered iPads. It allows users to resize windows and have them overlapping. However, those who tried the beta by and large found the feature buggy. 

"In its unfinished form, Stage Manager is a bit rough around the edges," Engadget's Nathan Ingraham wrote in his iPadOS 16 preview. "When I was using my iPad with an external display, the system crashed and threw me back to the home screen not infrequently, which obviously kills productivity gains. There are also quirks with apps behaving unpredictably when resizing their windows."

Previous reports indicated that Apple has new iPads lined up for later this year, including a souped-up base model with a USB-C port and an M2-powered iPad Pro. Delaying iPadOS 16 could mean it emerges closer to the arrival of new tablets as well. Pushing back the iPadOS 16 release will also allow Apple to prioritize and polish iOS 16, as Bloomberg notes.

For what it's worth, macOS Ventura also includes Stage Manager. In his preview of the operating system, Devindra Hardawar found that the feature was the standout addition. 

It's expected that Apple will release macOS Ventura in October. Given that Apple has long been trying to pivot away from the perception of the iPad as a big iPhone and make it more of an all-purpose productivity device, rolling out iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura at the same time could send another subtle message about how the company is positioning its tablets.

Amazon Luna arrives on Samsung's latest smart TVs

Engadget - Wed, 2022-08-03 14:32

Earlier this year, the Samsung Gaming Hub brought Xbox Game Pass, NVIDIA GeForce Now, Google Stadia and other gaming services to Samsung smart TVs and smart monitors, promising to add new services like Amazon Luna "soon." Soon, it turns out, is today: Amazon's cloud gaming service is now available on 2022 Samsung smart TVs.

Samsung says that with Luna, the gaming hub now has more than 1000 games available to play. Most of these games will require an extra subscription fee, though if you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, you already have access to a small library of games. Very small. Right now Prime users can play four games (Steel Assault, MYST, Control: Ultimate Edition and Garfield Kart: Furious Racing) included with their subscription.

The selection of free with Prime games changes every month, but users can subscribe to additional channels to expand their library. Luna Plus, for instance, includes games like Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Mega Man 11, Ghostrunner and Resident Evil VII. Luna's Retro Channel has a collection of classic games, from Centipede to Street Fighter II. Users can also subscribe to channels featuring Ubisoft and Jackbox game packs, all priced between $4.99 and $17.99 a month. If you do subscribe, your games won't be locked to your TV: Luna games are playable on PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones.

How well all these games work, however, depends on your connection speed. Amazon Luna and Xbox Game Pass both recommended minimum internet speeds of 10Mbps to 20Mbps on a 5GHz WiFi connection — and of course, you'll also need the aforementioned 2022 Samsung Smart TV and a Bluetooth gamepad. If you have all that, Luna's Free with Prime games are a great way try game streaming on your TV.

Apple to Delay Rollout of iPadOS 16 Until October, Report Says - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2022-08-03 14:23
Developers are reportedly trying to work out kinks in Stage Manager, a new organizational tool.

Dead by Daylight's 'Hooked on You' dating sim spin-off is out now

Engadget - Wed, 2022-08-03 14:00

Behaviour Interactive is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and it marked the occasion with a stream that showed off some things it has in the pipeline, including what's next for Dead by Daylight. Back in May, Behaviour revealed that a DBD dating sim would arrive sometime this summer. Fans can now dive into Hooked on You, since it has just landed on Steam.

Hooked on You is the first DBD spin-off and it was developed by I Love You, Colonel Sanders! studio Psyop. It's a visual novel in which you can romance four of the killers from the main game on (where else?) Murderer's Island. The stories it tells combine humor, romance and horror, though they aren't canon. Still, they could let fans live out some of their DBD fantasies.

As for Dead by Daylight itself, Behaviour shed more light on what to expect from the second Resident Evil chapter, which is coming soon. The Resident Evil: Project W DLC will introduce Albert Wesker (who is called The Mastermind in DBD) and two new survivors: Ada Wong and Rebecca Chambers. In addition, Behaviour is reworking the Raccoon City Police Department map that debuted as part of the original Resident Evil chapter, which arrived last year.

The first Behaviour Beyond showcase included some new game announcements as well. One of them is Meet Your Maker, a base building and raiding game that's slated to arrive next year. You can assemble deadly maze-like outposts packed with traps and guards to protect sought-after genetic material from other players. Of course, you (perhaps with a friend's help in co-op mode) will infiltrate other players' bases to try and steal material from them. A closed playtest starts later this month.

Also on the way is a 3D brawler called Flippin Misfits. Up to four players can battle each other in space. The game will hit Steam in September. In addition, the stream offered a look at a title codenamed Project S. It's an open-world puzzle game that features single-player, co-op and large multiplayer modes. Behaviour is working on Project S, which it plans to release next year, with Lunarch Studios. More details will be revealed soon.