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Google’s attempt to replicate Apple’s ecosystem is good news for all of us – 9to5Mac

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Apple’s ecosystem is perhaps the most valuable asset the company possesses, after its brand, so eyebrows were raised when Google yesterday announced plans to replicate many of the key elements of that ecosystem.

While some Apple fans were outraged at what they saw as blatant copying of Apple features, my view is that this is good news for Android and iPhone users alike …

As reported by our colleagues over at 9to5Google, Google has features to rival Spatial Audio, AirDrop, AirPods-like fast pairing, Apple Watch Unlock, and much more […]

First off, the company has announced that it will expand its AirDrop-like “Nearby Share” feature to Windows PCs, allowing Android users to easily and wirelessly share photos, videos, and files from Android phones to PCs. This is, of course, incredibly similar to using AirDrop between an iPhone and Mac.

In the audio space, Google has announced that it will bring its Fast Pair feature to Windows PCs, Google TV, Android TV, and Matter-compatible smart home products. This means that Fast Pair-compatible headphones will be able to seamlessly connect to these devices, just like AirPods can effortlessly pair with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.

Google went on to describe its plans to allow Wear OS smartwatches to unlock Chromebooks, and to adopt Spatial Audio.

Of course, Apple has borrowed from Android just as Google has borrowed from Apple, so neither company can be too surprised or aggrieved when this sort of thing happens. All the same, the extent of this replication is unarguably aggressive on Google’s part. If I were in Tim Cook’s place, I might feel at least a little peeved.

As an Apple customer, however, I’m delighted. The Apple ecosystem is my number-one reason for choosing the company’s devices, and it’s one of the main reasons for switchers to move from Android – but we all know that things don’t always work perfectly

I still use Dropbox rather than iCloud because it syncs faster. I still sometimes have to copy, paste, and email text to myself when I want to instantly switch devices and Handoff is still waiting to, er, handoff. My Apple Watch generally unlocks my Mac, but there are times when it says it’s unlocking and then fails, and other times when my Mac doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of my Watch. I could go on, as I’m sure we all could.

So when Google starts offering the same benefits in the Android/Chromebook ecosystem, that puts a lot of pressure on Apple to do two things: add new ecosystem benefits to stay ahead, and improve the performance and reliability of existing ones. That’s a win for everyone; bring it on.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

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Samsung Galaxy A53 5G's leaks confirm four rear, one selfie cameras – Times of India

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Jan 23, 2022, 05:00AM ISTSource: ANI

New leaked pictures of Samsung Galaxy A53 5G reveal frame and rear panel components. As per GSM Arena, the panel appears black, though this could be prior to painting. Either way, black is one of the rumoured colour options for this model, alongside white, light blue and orange. This same colour palette will be used for other Ax3 phones as well, including the Galaxy A13 and A33 5G. As for the cameras, there will be four modules. The main camera is expected to have the same 64 MP resolution as the A52 models, but the ultra-wide may be getting an upgrade to 32 MP (up from 12 MP). In the leaks, there is only one centred punch hole for a selfie camera. As per GSM Arena, the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G will use two different chipsets, one of which is expected to be the Exynos 1200.

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Want to preorder the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra? Here's how to reserve your spot – Pocket-lint

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(Pocket-lint) – Days before an event, Samsung invites consumers to preorder whatever it’s about to announce, and this year it’s no different.

Samsung’s next Unpacked event is scheduled to happen in February, where it’ll likely announce the next-generation Galaxy S series alongside other devices.

Samsung has yet to announce the Galaxy S22 of course, apart from a very brief teaser and a blog post. Nevertheless, you can now reserve one – sight unseen. That’s right. You can register your intent to buy the rumoured flagship as well as the Galaxy S22+ and Galaxy S22 Ultra models from the Korean electronics giant before they’re even announced and go on sale. 

If you’re the type who must have Samsung’s latest handset before anyone else, go to this page at Samsung’s site to reserve a preorder for one of the phones.

You don’t even need to put down money yet – you’re merely reserving a slot to order the phone later, after the company’s keynote at Unpacked in February. Per usual, Samsung said you’ll get $50 of credit toward other Samsung Galaxy products when you preorder, which you can use to snag a case or charger.

To reserve, just enter your name, email, and zip code, and then select whether you want a phone or a tablet from Samsung. Easy.

If you want to know more about the next-generation Galaxy S series, based on all the rumours and leaks so far, see our guide here.



Writing by Maggie Tillman.

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Activision Blizzard Workers Form a Union – PCMag

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It’s nearly impossible to convince random teammates in Call of Duty to organize their efforts. The same can’t be said for the people who make the games, however, because 34 employees at Raven Software have voted to unionize with support from Communication Workers of America.

Activision Blizzard acquired Raven Software in 1997. The studio has mostly worked on the Call of Duty franchise in recent years, with its most recent title being Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which debuted in September 2020. It’s likely working on the next franchise entry now.

Members of Raven Software’s quality assurance (QA) department voted to unionize after 12 of their colleagues were laid off in December 2021, according to Reuters, which reports that the remaining employees have also been striking in solidarity with their departed colleagues.

“While we believe that a direct relationship between the company and its team members delivers the strongest workforce opportunities,” Activision Blizzard told Reuters, “we deeply respect the rights of all employees under the law to make their own decisions about whether or not to join a union.”

Raven Software’s QA workers are seeking voluntary recognition of the union; Activision Blizzard told Reuters it is “carefully reviewing” the request. If it declines, the union will hold an election sponsored by the National Labor Relations Board, which leaves its fate up to other employees.

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This revelation follows Microsoft’s announcement that it plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion—in cash—pending approval from Activision Blizzard shareholders and regulators. It seems likely that all parties will be watching Raven Software’s unionization efforts closely.

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