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Apple is taking the power brick out of the Apple Watch box – MobileSyrup

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The Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 6 will not have power bricks inside of their retail boxes.

There have been rumours throughout 2020 that Apple plans to ditch the power adapter and EarPods from the iPhone 12’s box, and this shift with the Apple Watch hints that those rumours might be accurate.

Now that Apple has stopped including the brick in the box, people will need to shell out an extra $25 to buy one from the tech giant or purchase a third-party option.

Apple said during its recent keynote that the move aims to help it hit its climate sustainability goals. This makes sense since fewer adapters being sold means fewer power bricks being made, which should help reduce Apple’s emissions. That said, now that Apple has started down this road of removing chargers for green reasons, where does this shift stop?

It makes sense to remove the charger with the Apple Watch since most people buying the smartwatch also likely own an iPhone that included a charger. That said, if both the Apple Watch and the iPhone stop coming with charging bricks, it’s going to become a lot harder for people to get their hands on an official Apple charger.

MobileSyrup can confirm, however, that Apple’s new iPad and iPad Air come with a power brick in the box because, according to Apple, half of the people buying these tablets are buying their first-ever iPad.

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Sony Apologizes for Rough PlayStation 5 Preorder Mishap – HYPEBEAST

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Sony has just tweeted an apology for its misaligned preorder system which took gamers by surprise — leaving many without a secured PlayStation 5 console. Taking a form closer to a Quickstrike sneaker release, the console was announced last Wednesday that it would be available for preorder the next day but was launched just hours later on Walmart — leading to other retailers opening their preorder links which caused a frenzy of preorders by quick-handed gamers and resellers alike.

Resellers got their hands on multiple preorders while fans were left emptyhanded. Recognizing this, Sony has promised to release more preorders “over the next few days” with more units coming at the end of the year. Those that missed out should get ready for an update from Sony next week so that they lock down a preorder of their own.

In other gaming news, the Nintendo 3DS has been discontinued.


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How to use the Handwashing feature on the Apple Watch – AppleInsider

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The addition of the Handwashing Timer to watchOS 7 is meant to encourage Apple Watch users to properly wash their hands for at least 20 seconds. Here’s how to get the feature working, to remind you to keep your hands clean.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused health-related organizations and governments around the world to come up with ways to encourage people to be more hygienic. One idea that has been adopted around the world is that of regularly washing hands, and doing so for at least 20 seconds to minimize the risk of infection by touch.

Memes have been circulated, proposing songs and other ways people can use to time themselves washing their hands, with social pressure helping to enforce the washing of hands in the first place.

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With the Handwashing feature of watchOS 7, Apple has added a function to the Apple Watch that is a fairly simple concept, namely a timer that appears whenever the user starts to wash their hands, counting down from 20 seconds. With the release of watchOS 7, it is now available to enable and use on supported devices.

Handwashing requires users to update their iPhone to run iOS 14, and their Apple Watch to watchOS 7, in order to function.

How to turn Handwashing detection on and off via your iPhone

  • Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Under My Watch, scroll down and tap Handwashing.
  • Tap the toggle next to Handwashing Timer.

Handwashing can be enabled within the Watch app on iOS.

How to turn Handwashing detection on and off via your Apple Watch

  • Press the Digital Crown and select the Settings app.
  • Scroll down and tap Handwashing.
  • Tap the toggle next to Handwashing Timer.
Handwashing Timer can also be enabled directly on the Apple Watch in the Settings app.

Handwashing Timer can also be enabled directly on the Apple Watch in the Settings app.

How to use the Handwashing timer

  • Start washing your hands.
  • If the Apple Watch detects correct hand movements and the sound of running water, the timer will appear. It will automatically adjust to have started the timer when it thinks handwashing started, and will show a countdown timer with the remaining time.
  • Continue washing until the Apple Watch chimes and displays a “Thumbs Up” symbol.

It is advised to not bother to stop and look at the timer on the Apple Watch, as it will cease the countdown and may stop the timer altogether. AppleInsider has encountered situations where the timer stopped abruptly, such as water being registered as a screen tap, which may be an issue for some users.

Along with the default timer, Apple has also included Handwashing Reminders, which will use location tracking to determine if the user has been outside of home, and has returned. The reminder is to encourage users to wash their hands on arrival at home, again to minimize any bacteria or virus transference to other family members by bringing them into the house.

How to turn Handwashing notifications on and off via your iPhone

  • Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Under My Watch, scroll down and tap Handwashing.
  • Ensure the toggle next to Handwashing Timer is enabled to see the Handwashing Reminders toggle.
  • Tap the toggle next to Handwashing Reminders.

As handwashing is an important part of staying healthy, especially in the current COVID-19 climate, the Apple Watch collects data on handwashing activities. This includes times when the counter is enacted, how many times the user successfully reaches 20 seconds, the average time spent handwashing, and other data which can be reviewed over a longer period of time.

How to view Handwashing data on the iPhone

  • Open the Health app.
  • If it doesn’t appear in the Summary page when entering the app, select Browse.
  • Select Other Data.
  • Select Handwashing.
The Health app keeps track of how often and how long you wash your hands for.

The Health app keeps track of how often and how long you wash your hands for.

Like other metrics the app tracks, users can see how many times they washed their hands in a day, week, month, or year, as well as how long for, averages, and even timestamped data. This feature may be especially useful for families, with parents able to check if their children are washing their hands sufficiently throughout the day.

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Forget PS5 and Xbox Series X — Oculus Quest 2 is the next-gen system to watch – Tom's Guide

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 As Microsoft and Sony finally provided concrete release date details of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, it was almost easy to forget about the Oculus Quest 2, which has laid down the gauntlet in a VR race occupied by rivals including HTC, Valve and current leader Sony. 

Set for release October 13, the Quest 2 retails at $100 cheaper than its predecessor at $299 for the 64GB version and $399 for the 256G edition. Specs for the new headset feature noticeable improvements over the original Quest as well. The Quest 2 uses Snapdragon’s XR2 CPU purposely built for VR and AR, which should be a big boost from the Snapdragon 835 mobile chip in the original. Upgrades like 6GB of ram, higher per eye pixel resolution, a 90Hz refresh rate and interpupillary distance adjustment have also already impressed critics. But it’s two specific features that should push the Quest 2 right into the forefront of VR hardware. 

Following an introduction last year on the original Quest, Oculus Link is preparing to leave beta sometime this fall. This allows the headset to run Oculus Rift and Steam VR games by tethering it to a VR-ready PC through a USB-C cable. By itself, the Quest 2 is limited to games that are enjoyable like Beat Saber, Superhot, Moss and even a port of the excellent Tetris Effect. Having a standard gaming PC to run top-tier VR games like Echo Arena means the Quest 2 offers dual usage out of the box. Half-Life: Alyx, the third highest reviewed game this year behind Last of Us II according to Metacritic, has a chance to reach a wider audience. 

Being portable and tethered to the PC lends to a freedom that’s not unlike the hybrid Nintendo Switch console. Oculus also announced that it will  phase out the pricey Rift S and all PC-only headsets in 2021, making the Quest 2 its standalone VR product. This makes the Quest 2 by itself less expensive than the HTC Cosmos, Valve Index and Sony’s ultra popular Playstation VR. As prices for VR-ready PCs are dropping under $700, Oculus has made the barrier of entry more accessible than ever. 

 Killer VR apps

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 Of course, none of this would matter if Quest 2 didn’t have some spectacular games coming down the pipeline. While many early Quest releases felt more in line with tech demos or mini-games, Oculus is now leaning further toward releasing titles that blur lines between traditional console gaming and VR. Oculus striking a partnership with Ubisoft for new entries in the Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell universe is one thing. Having the French publisher pull resources from Red Storm, Reflections, Ubisoft Dusseldorf and Ubisoft Mumbai to help develop is another. 

Jurassic World: Aftermath hopes to prove survival horror games inspired by Alien: Isolation and Resident Evil 7 can be done in VR. With Fortnite, PUBG and Call of Duty: Warzone all fighting for supremacy within the ultra popular battle royale genre, Population: One seems to be carving a nice space for itself. For a lot of longtime PC gamers, a VR remake of iconic 1993 point-and-click adventure Myst feels magical. Dormant since Medal of Honor: Warfighter, EA’s storied military first-person-shooter returns through Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond for those who can run it on PC through Oculus Link. 

(Image credit: EA)

Coupled with Oculus’ great existing library, these upcoming Quest games sound more exciting than anything launching alongside the PS5 and Xbox Series X on day one. Microsoft delaying Halo Infinite till 2021 has the house that Windows built focusing more on cross-generational support and Game Pass for Xbox Series X. Meanwhile, PS5 exclusives like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Horizon: Forbidden West will also come to PS4, somewhat limiting the urgency to upgrade for some.

As of now, Microsoft hasn’t officially entered the VR realm outside of its Xbox One Streaming app for Rift. Since its 2016 release, PlayStation VR could be considered the leader in the space with five million sold. Being backwards compatible with the upcoming PS5 means there’s a vast library available from the start. Though some phenomenal exclusives available have been released for PSVR including Farpoint and Iron Man VR, the platform hasn’t delivered anything that can truly match PC. Maybe that’ll change when its upgraded successor hits the PS5 eventually.  

Going beyond next-gen gaming 

(Image credit: Oculus)

Beyond gaming, Quest 2’s Infinite Office seems to be the future of home offices. The feature will allow users to use the Oculus Browser to work across multiple customizable screens and display live feeds of the environments from the onboard cameras. 

A partnership with Logitech means certain keyboards will be recognized and rendered for easy input. If Google Chrome becomes compatible outside of VR browsing, the Quest 2 could be a real game changer. 

Oculus’ strategy for the future of VR may not create an unshakable hype train like Microsoft and Sony have. Regardless, the Quest 2 might have positioned itself as the most next-gen device to be released this year, thanks to unique, immersive experiences and a price that undercuts new consoles by up to $200.

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