It turns out Google launched a very cohesive streaming platform with Google TV yesterday, as a new update and name is now rolling out to the Google Play Movies & TV app.
Google more or less renamed the public-facing version of Android TV to Google TV to launch alongside its new Chromecast. But a new update to the Google Play Movies & TV app suggests that the company is copying Apple’s smart TV-OS playbook.
Just like how Apple has both an Apple TV device and an Apple TV app, Google now has the Google TV platform on televisions and, through the Google Play Movies & TV app, update a presence on mobile and the web, too.
The big question this leaves is whether Google will follow this branding approach with the Google Play Store and Play Books. It’s already replaced Play Music with YouTube Music, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to see Play Books become Google Books in the near future. That said, Google probably wouldn’t re-brand the Play Store, but I think it being the only service with Play-branding makes it stand out even more, which is a good thing.
How Google TV works
The main Google TV page sources content from apps like Prime Video, Crave, YouTube, Disney+ and others, but not Netflix. That’s not to say you can’t use the Netflix app, but its content won’t appear on the main page.
Google hopes that structuring the main Google TV page like this will help people find content to watch faster, without having to dip in and out of a bunch of different apps. This is a smart idea that many companies, including Apple and Amazon, are also trying to do with their smart TV OS home screens.
This is likely a smart move for Google and should help unify content under one app on Android. While the Apple TV app is good, I never find myself using it that much because it doesn’t recommend that much content I want to watch, plus its interface is also littered with movies and shows to rent, which is pretty annoying to see. Plus, the simple fact that it can’t draw content from Netflix means it’s missing out on a vast streaming library to offer from.
There have been rumours that Google is working on a service called ‘Kaleidoscope’ that is supposedly going to show content from streaming services all in one place. Netflix was involved in this leak, but I’m still skeptical that the streaming giant is going to allow people out of its app so they can search its content alongside other streaming services.
Netflix has been very clear that they’re competing for users’ eyeballs more than anything else, so allowing Google to place the streaming giant’s shows besides those from HBO and Prime Video would really go against this since it gives people other non-Netflix options to watch.
This is likely a smart update for Google, but the confusing rollout of the new Google TV platform and how exactly it’s taking over Android TV is likely going to make this more confusing for people than it has to be in classical Google fashion.
We’ve been unable to download the update, but when you search for Google Play Movies & TV on Google Search, it says ‘Google TV (previously Play Movies & TV),’ but it still doesn’t allow me to download it. This suggests that it’s going to roll out to people fairly quickly.
Via: Android Central
Apple iPhone 12 Pro in for review – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com
Our review of the iPhone 12 is already up, but we’ve also been spending some quality time with the more premium iPhone 12 Pro. But while the review team is still doing its thing here go a few early thoughts.
The iPhone 12 Pro certainly makes a better first impression than the iPhone 12. For starters the frame isn’t aluminum but stainless steel. It feels better too and it’s shinier.
The rear glass is nicer to touch too, thanks to its matte finish (the regular 12 gets a shiny one). Finally the iPhone 12 Pro gains 25 grams on the regular 12, making it feel denser and more solid.
Otherwise Apple made the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 the same exact dimensions so any case that would fit one, would also work on the other.
The next big difference between the 12 Pro and regular iPhone 12 is the 12MP 52mm f/2.0 2x telephoto camera on the iPhone 12 Pro. We’re fans of telephoto cameras, but would have to say that having the same old 2x camera from the 11 Pro isn’t nearly enough to justify the $200/€243/£200 premium on the Pro.
Moving to the screens and we have a minute difference. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro both feature 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED panels with HDR10 support and 1170x2532px resolution, but the iPhone 12 tops at 600 nits, while the iPhone 12 Pro brings it a bit further to 800 nits. We can’t say it’s a noticeable difference when the two are side by side, though. Both also have the same peak brightness of 1200 nits for HDR content though.
Finally there are storage options and RAM. The iPhone 12 Pro has a base storage of 128GB with the upgrade tiers of 256GB and 512GB, while the iPhone 12 starts at 64GB and brings it all the way up to 256GB. The iPhone 12 gets 4GB of RAM, while the Pro has 6GB – something that might seem like a decent upgrade, but doesn’t seem to make a huge difference at least in these early days.
So overall, the iPhone 12 Pro has a few things to justify its price premium over the iPhone 12. Which is much smaller if you need to equalize storage. Overall we’d say paying more for the Pro is worth it if you enjoy the perspective of the telephoto camera or plan on carrying it without a case and enjoy the nicer build quality. But we’re also here to tell you that the iPhone 12 feels just as fast than the Pro, is a bit lighter thanks to its aluminum frame, and comes in nicer colors. This year the line between Apple’s regular and Pro lines is very much blurred.
A quick word for iPhone 11 Pro users looking to get an iPhone 12 Pro. The 12 Pro looks bigger but doesn’t feel like that, mainly due to its virtually unchanged weight. The flat edges make the iPhone 12 Pro a different-feeling phone in the hand and we welcome the change. Apple was able to make a phone like no other in the market – one with flat sides and a fully-flat display and it almost feels revolutionary after so many years of lightly to outrageously curved devices.
Yet upgrading from the iPhone 11 Pro to the 12 Pro is hard to justify. Yes, the new phone is faster and yes, it has a bigger screen, but neither is a big difference. As we see it the only reasonable upgrade path for 11 Pro owners is the 12 Pro Max if you can live with the much larger phone.
Stay tuned for our detailed iPhone 12 Pro review, coming in the first days of the next week!
Here's what iPhone 12 Pro cameras can do: Incredible Night Mode photos and more – CNET
For photographers, almost every new iPhone has a little something special, and one of Apple‘s newest devices, the , is no exception. It brings a few seemingly simple, but entirely effective, upgrades that I think shutterbugs are going to love.
This week, I took the iPhone 12 Pro on a short trip to a beautiful place, Lake Tahoe, and found that the Night Mode software and ultrawide lens upgrades are pretty exciting. Let’s dive into some of these updates that make the iPhone so great and gauge how it compares with Apple’s previous phone, the iPhone 11 Pro.
Though Apple’s iPhone 12, Pro, Pro Max and Mini — deliver a wild amount of camera tech, it’s spread across all four models. How much you want to pay will determine what kind of camera system you’ll get.— the
The iPhone 12 Pro has a triple-lens rear camera setup that’s common on most current high-end phones, and it adds a depth-sensing imaging technology called lidar (it’s on the Pro Max as well).
uses lasers to survey the environment you’re shooting. By measuring how long it takes for light to bounce off objects and come back, the sensor creates a field of points that map out distances. It’s not too different from how works.
The technology promises to help capture image data in low-light situations by better reading the landscape and augmenting the visual data from the camera lenses. Apple says lidar also will improve low-light shots by allowing the camera to focus up to six times faster in darker conditions.
I noticed a huge difference from the improved focusing. It happened so fast and accurately while I was shooting, I quickly learned not to even worry about whether the shot was going to turn out well.
As with many of Apple’s incremental upgrades over the past few years, lidar takes the iPhone another step closer to having shooting abilities comparable to those of a high-end professional DSLR. Fast focus just makes it feel like a “real” camera setup. And for sure, the iPhone 12 Pro is a very real camera setup. I loved using the new focus feature and the ultrawide Night Mode — they made for excellent and instantaneous in-focus photos.
What else will make my photos better?
Software also makes a big difference. Though the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have the same selfie, wide and ultrawide cameras, the real photographic monster will be the coming iPhone 12 Pro Max with ProRaw enabled.
The iPhone 12 Pro’s standard 26mm lens, dubbed wide, has now been upgraded from an f/1.8 to a wider f/1.6 aperture. That’ll mean marginally better low-light performance on the same 12-megapixel sensor as the previous iPhone. Then the new seven-element lens, which Apple says allows 27% more light into the sensor, has been shown to dramatically improve the clarity and sharpness around a picture’s edges. Across my photos taken with the wide lens, there’s a shockingly low amount of noise in the shadows, even in the smallest of details.
In these images shot with the wide lens, notice how the underwater rocks in the foreground are properly exposed and show virtually no noise, but at the same time we still haven’t lost any detail in the bright sky and the distant mountain range.
In the below image, shot in the clear emerald waters of Sand Harbor along Lake Tahoe’s eastern shore in Nevada, the f/1.6 wide (26mm) lens captures varied tones, ranging from the shadows of the rocks underwater to the bright white splash of the paddle and the bright yellow kayak.
Low-light photos with Night Mode
Night mode is a low-light assist capture feature that’s now available on the selfie, wide and ultrawide iPhone 12 Pro lenses, (on previous iPhones it was only on the standard wide lens). The feature will activate automatically when the camera detects a dark scene. When it’s on, the Night Mode icon at the top of the display turns yellow.
Overall, Night Mode is going to be one of the most aggressively awesome new features on iPhones, because it’s now available on every camera in the iPhone 12 line.
In default mode the camera will decide how long of a capture to make, but you can manually adjust the Night Mode exposure time by tapping the Night Mode icon and using the slider above the shutter button to choose a longer duration. Choosing Max will extend the capture time to its longest duration, thus letting in more light to the darker scene. For all of these images, I selected the maximum of 30 seconds.
For really the most stellar results, stabilize your phone by setting it on a surface or, even better, a tripod. I used a tripod to shoot these images.
Night Mode images on the iPhone 12 Pro are nothing short of amazing. I found the sweet spot for taking night photos to be during the 20- to 40-minute period of twilight just after sunset or just before sunrise. Photographers call these times the “blue hour,” when the sun is below the horizon and the indirect light is a beautiful soft-glowing blue.
This image is a 30-second exposure shot using my Peak Design tripod in almost total darkness. The quality is really incredible. I shot one of the images you’ll see below at Sand Point, also along the Nevada shore, on the iPhone 12 Pro using a 30-second Night Mode exposure and the ultrawide lens. It was minutes before 7 p.m. PT, or about 45 minutes after sunset.
For getting the best results using Night Mode, though, you do need some light. As the postsunset light began to fade to the dark of night, even my long exposure Night Mode images began to worsen significantly. I’d say that about an hour after sunset, things weren’t looking very good anymore.
For comparison, here’s a 30-second iPhone 12 Pro Night Mode shot on the left and an iPhone 11 Pro photo without Night Mode on the right. As you can see, the iPhone 11 Pro renders an almost a completely black image, with almost zero detail. Even in the blackest of the iPhone 12 Pro’s tones, there’s hardly any noise visible.
In addition to making basic saturation and contrast image edits in Apple’s Photos mobile app, here below, I used thein the app to blur the choppy waters on the lake. The result is a smooth and milky nighttime image.
Apple’s new Smart HDR 3 and its Deep Fusion processing technology, which are on all four rear cameras and the front-facing camera, are upgrades to the iPhone 12 Pro that feel like a significant part of Apple’s camera success puzzle.
Deep Fusion’s advancedenables some pretty noticeable pixel-by-pixel manipulation of photos. I noticed enhancements in the ultrafine details of photos and a huge step forward in noise reduction. As you can see below, the shadows of the rocks and trees are crisp and detailed.
With the new “sky segmentation” feature, the tones in the bright California sky are rendered differently from the rest of the shot, giving the image more detail. Though the camera is looking directly toward the sun in an extremely bright scene, the iPhone 12 Pro still manages to balance everything out, and expose the varied tonal regions in a way that renders a real true-to-the-eye image.
The brightest light of all, the sun, doesn’t overpower the exposure or the tones through the rest of the image. The white highlights from the sun are limited to the sun itself, while the forest just below also manages to be properly exposed, with visible detail in the trees.
At the same time, the extreme brightness didn’t wash out the image. The contrast remains solid, with the beautiful blues of the sky, the emerald waters of Lake Tahoe, and the yellow of the Aspens in the foreground all rendered in a way that really reflects what my eye saw.
In another image from Secret Cove, we see a really magnificent exposure balance between the bright sky and the reflective sparkle of the sun off the lake. But still we get well-preserved shadow detail with the foreground rocks and the tree trunk.
Wide angle photos are some of my favorite images to shoot with any camera. Up close and personal, they put the viewer right at the center of the action. Since the ultrawide lens debuted on the iPhone 11 Pro last year, I use it all the time to capture the full scene in front of me, whether it’s taking in a smaller indoor space or capturing wide landscape vistas of the American West. Ultrawide lenses are always great for stunning landscape photography.
This year, Apple had made some pretty great software enhancements to the ultrawide lens that have me loving it even more than I did before. The sharpness issues that plagued iPhone 11 Pro images anywhere outside the center of the frame are now gone with the iPhone 12 Pro software upgrades. Far less distortion and more crisp details from edge to edge really drew me in.
You can see improvements in the below image I took from a lookout above California’s Emerald Bay State Park. The edges of the iPhone 12 Pro photo, on the left, have a significant amount of additional information over the iPhone 11 Pro photo (on the right), and far, far less noise. The iPhone 11 Pro wide image on the right looks extremely muddy and lacks any definition at all.
The new iPhone 12 Pro has identical ultrawide angle hardware to last year’s iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. But upgraded software on both it and the iPhone 12 Pro will now correct the lens distortion that shooting with a wider angle lens can bring. That distortion could lead to warped images at the edges and a loss of sharp detail at the fringes.
The iPhone 12 Pro is rated for underwater, so I jumped into the (cold!) mountain waters of Lake Tahoe. Rated IP68 for water and dust-resistance, it can withstand being submerged to a depth of six meters for 30 minutes. Below, in this ultrawide lens photo taken at Sand Harbor, you can see how well the new software has corrected the distortion.
There’s almost no distortion across the middle third of the image and really great detail from edge to edge. Look closely at the detail in the rocks and the trees. There are fine details without any of the muddiness we saw with the previous ultrawide lens.
It’s only at the far four corners of the image where we start to see some minor warping and softening of the details. In the upper left, you can see the details at the top of the mountain begin to fall just a little bit, losing some of their clarity.
I took this ultrawide lens kayaking in Lake Tahoe’s crystal clear blue waters off Sand Harbor. Notice the sharp details in the ripple of the waters across the image, and the details in the distant mountains. Only at the bottom left corner can you see some detail lost due to smoothing of the image.
Here’s another stunningly blue ultrawide lens image taken with the iPhone 12 Pro. I edited the image using the “Long Exposure” feature inside Apple’s Photos app, which smooths the motion of the photo (in this case the waters of the lake) to a silky sheen.
Video gets better
The iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max can now also use the Night Mode with the time-lapse feature. Using longer interval frames, more light is collected, resulting in dramatically better low-light performance. Unlike Night Mode when shooting a photo, video Night Mode is baked in to the feature and turns on automatically, without the designated icon being shown.
Take a look below at the sun rising over Lake Tahoe from Emerald Bay State Park in California. The dark rocks in the foreground have visible detail, and the bright skies also still have beautiful well-rendered tones. I shot this video in extremely low light about 45 minutes after sunset.
In the time-lapse below, taken during the twilight period more than half an hour after the sun had set, you can see some pretty great detail in the waters of Lake Tahoe in Nevada.
A photographic feast, with more to come
These have been some pretty significant upgrades for photography software on the iPhone 12 Pro. Though there still are a number of other phones that offer best phones for taking amazing pictures.ranges, the iPhone 12 Pro remains one of the
In its increasingly refined camera array, Apple continues to concoct a delectable recipe for photographic success. Rather than a single great bump in megapixels, or a massive sensor boost, this iPhone camera system is really the sum of many parts. A little Deep Fusion here, a faster processor there, some Smart HDR 3, sensor-shift stabilization and just a dash of magic make for a pretty sensational photographic feast.
And just around the corner, we’ll see the iPhone 12 Pro Max monster…
Black Friday 2020: All Retailer Ads, Best Deals, Store Closings, And More – GameSpot
It’s been an incredibly strange and brutal year, but somehow, it’s nearly November, and the busy holiday shopping season is now upon us. In the United States, Black Friday is known as the best time of year to save money on big-ticket items, to cross all those names off your shopping list and splurge for yourself a little (or a lot) too. But with COVID-19 still a very real threat in the US, Black Friday 2020 is going to look much different from previous years.
Fortunately, Black Friday has been developing a strong online presence for years now. With companies like Amazon proving that huge online sales like Prime Day can be a major success, retailers have slowly been offering more noteworthy Black Friday deals online over the years, and this year will be no exception. In fact, with retailers looking to avoid mass crowds that normally push into stores on Black Friday, there’s even greater incentive to make sure the best deals are also available online–and earlier.
So what has been confirmed so far regarding retailers’ plans for Black Friday 2020? Here’s what we know right now about Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shopping this year.
Many stores are closing on Thanksgiving Day
Walmart led the charge in announcing all Walmart and Sam’s Club locations will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (November 26), breaking a decade-long tradition in which Black Friday offers would be available in-store as early as Thanksgiving evening. Soon after, Target, Best Buy, and GameStop announced they would be closing their doors on Thanksgiving as well.
While certainly the best decision to allow employees more time with their families and to avoid huge crowds in stores on Thanksgiving, this is a major change to the typical rhythm of Black Friday, as we’re used to seeing some of the best doorbuster deals kick off on Thanksgiving Day. As a result, we expect to see some great online-only doorbusters this Thanksgiving and an overall shift in the deals schedule.
You can check out more of the major retailers who have confirmed they’re closing their doors on Thanksgiving this year below. Of course, some stores traditionally close on Thanksgiving Day every year, such as Apple and Costco, and it’s likely they’ll remain closed this year as well.
Confirmed store closings for Thanksgiving Day 2020
- Walmart / Sam’s Club
- Best Buy
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- TJ Maxx
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Office Depot
Black Friday deals are going to start earlier this year
To avoid the massive rush of people visiting stores in mid to late November, Black Friday-level deals will start rolling out much earlier this year to space out the promotions. Target has confirmed its first Black Friday deals will start November 1, with “Black Friday pricing” available throughout the entire month. Meanwhile, Best Buy released its first batch of Black Friday deals during Amazon Prime Day, and the store is still offering Black Friday prices online now. GameStop and Walmart have both pledged to offer deals earlier than usual as well. And with Prime Day in the rearview mirror, Amazon has already moved on with its “Holiday Dash” sale, which is offering steep discounts in the leadup to Black Friday weekend.
Though it may seem strange, this is a natural progression of the way Black Friday has been unfolding in recent years. Black Friday ads usually start to leak in late October, and some retailers have designated the entire month of November as a major deals period in the past. Gone are the days when Black Friday stuck to a single week–the frenzy has been expanding for several years now, so it’s no huge surprise that those promotions are kicking off in October or early November at some stores as part of an overall holiday push.
That said, it’s safe to assume many Black Friday offers will still center around the week of Thanksgiving, with the bulk of the deals kicking off between November 22 and November 30. This year, however, you won’t have to push through any crowds to get the best offers, as retailers will likely avoid in-store exclusives.
Black Friday 2020 retailer ads
Retailers have started to release their Black Friday 2020 ads, and the first wave of Black Friday deals will begin the first week of November. Plus, most stores have early deals available right now.
- Walmart Black Friday 2020 ad: Walmart has not just one, but multiple Black Friday ads this year, as it plans to release Black Friday deals in multiple batches. The first round of online deals goes live on November 4, with in-store deals starting November 7.
- Best Buy Black Friday 2020 ad: Best Buy’s Black Friday ad features the best gaming deals we’ve seen so far this year, with discounts on new game releases, online memberships, and more. An early Black Friday sale is live October 29 through November 1.
- Target Black Friday 2020 ad: Target released part of its Black Friday ad, revealing its first batch of deals on Apple products, smart devices, and more.
- Newegg Black Friday 2020 sale: Newegg’s month-long Black Friday sale kicks off November 1, with a PC gaming-specific sale planned for November 4-8.
- Dell Black Friday 2020 ad: Dell released its Black Friday ad and kicked off its sale on the same day, offering a great chance to save big on laptops and gaming PCs right now.
- Costco Black Friday 2020 ad: If you’re a Costco member (or know somebody who is), you can shop Costco’s Black Friday sale starting November 5.
Best Black Friday deals available now
In the leadup to Black Friday 2020, we’re tracking the best early deals as they go live at various retailers. Here’s an updated list of some of the best early Black Friday 2020 deals available now.
At Best Buy:
Best Black Friday gaming deals (upcoming)
This is a unique year in many ways, including the fact that next-generation consoles, the Xbox Series X and PS5, are launching this November. While there won’t be any straight-up discounts on these consoles during Black Friday, you may have a chance at buying them during the sale, as at least one retailer, Best Buy, has confirmed it will restock the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S during Black Friday. No start dates or times have been shared for this restock yet.
Now that retailers are starting to drop their Black Friday 2020 ads, here are some of the best upcoming gaming deals we know about so far. Right now, the best deals are coming from Best Buy’s Black Friday ad, which does not offer any start dates or times. When that info is available, we’ll include it here.
Best Nintendo Switch Black Friday deals
Best PS4 and PS5 Black Friday deals
Best Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S Black Friday deals
Best PC gaming deals
Of course, we’ll be covering all the best Black Friday 2020 deals on games, accessories, consoles, and more here at GameSpot, so keep checking back as we update this story with more information. Be sure to follow GameSpot Deals on Twitter for the hottest discounts, including lightning deals that will sell out fast during Prime Day and Black Friday, and sign up for our deals newsletter to keep up with the latest sales below. Plus, check out more of the best Black Friday tech deals, business deals, and fashion and beauty deals.
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