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PlayStation 5 SSD upgrades are finally enabled for beta testers – Engadget

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As expected, Sony is gradually opening up access to the PS5’s empty M.2 expansion slot. Starting today, a new system software update gives beta users in the US, Canada and parts of Europe the ability to boost local storage with select SSD drives. But, the process isn’t as straightforward as previous reports suggested. 

We already knew the required read speeds would be 5,500MB/s or higher, which limits you to PCIe Gen4 SSDs. Of course, there are plenty of drives that can manage that: The Samsung 980 Pro, Western Digital SN850, Corsair Force MP600, Seagate Firecuda 530, Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, to name a few. 

To make things more complicated, Sony says that you’ll also need to take into account the PS5’s cooling mechanism. That means you can either attach a heatsink to your SSD, either in a single- or double-sided format, or purchase a compatible SSD with the cooling structure built-in. But, even then, it needs to be the right-sized heatsink that matches the required dimensions. The total size including the cooling structure needs to be smaller than 110mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 11.25mm (H) or, in inches, smaller than 4.33in (L) x 0.984 in (W) x 0.442in (H).

Basically, you can forget just popping the cover and slotting in just any Gen 4 SSD. For instance, the Corsair Force MP600 has a heatsink which is too high to fit (though you can purchase it without one and use your own thermal solution). Whereas the WD Black SN850 heatsink should be fine.

Beyond the M.2 SSD support, the PS5 beta software also includes additional software and improvements. Among them is 3D audio support for built-in TV speakers that can boost sound by measuring the acoustics of a room using the DualSense controller. You can switch it on or off from the sound menu in the console’s system settings. What’s more there are a bunch of control customization options in the Control Centre. Here, the Game Base will also let you message friends and parties and see how many friends are online. 

While PS4 and PS5 games will also be labeled accordingly and appear separately in the home screen and game library. The update also packs a trophy tracker for quick access to up to five trophies per game via the Control Center, the option to pick between 720p and 1080p on PlayStation Now and the ability to enable automatic video clips in challenges for high scores. The software update is also rolling out in Japan, UK, Germany, and France.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Amazon Announces 3 New Kindles to E-Reader Lineup – CGMagazine

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Black Friday and the holidays are right around the corner as Amazon’s new Kindle Paperwhite e-readers have been announced.

With the pandemic, the reading boom is now. The Kindle gets an upgrade after a couple of years with no teases or news of the Kindle hardware getting an upgrade. But here we are, Amazon is re-kindling the flame of their e-readers with a huge revamp.

The Kindle Paperwhite will have three versions: the Kindle Paperwhite ($140), the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition ($190) and the Kindle Paperwhite for Kids ($160).

The screen size is getting bigger from its current 6 inches to 6.8 inches, but it doesn’t sacrifice the display quality or add much to its weight specifications. So, you don’t necessarily need to buy a bigger bag to hold this device when travelling. It’s just a slight bump in size.

Amazon Announces 3 New Kindles To E-Reader Lineup
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The highlight of the Kindle Paperwhite is its introduction to USB-C charging. The last iteration used a microUSB port to charge the device. With USB-C charging, this e-reader can go from zero percent battery to full in 2.5 hours. It also boasts a 10-week charge, which the last Kindle e-reader could only last 6 weeks.

You could fly around the Earth’s equator almost 8 times before this e-reader dies. If the insane battery life isn’t enough to convince you, there’s more.

All editions will be IPX8 water-resistant so you don’t have to worry too much if you spill some water on your device. Try your best not to though.

Amazon Announces 3 New Kindles To E-Reader LineupAmazon Announces 3 New Kindles To E-Reader Lineup
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The maximum brightness has been increased by 10%, allowing you to read with less glare if you’re enjoying a good read outside. Another great lighting feature is how the light has its ‘eye protection’ feature, which will give off warmer colours and reduce the blue light output. This means you can safely return to Game of Thrones: A Song of Fire and Ice in the morning and get a good night’s rest.

So, what’s the deal with the Signature Edition and the Kids version?

The Signature Edition will be able to store up to 32GB of reading content (more books!) versus the standard edition’s 8GB capacity. Additionally, this edition is with the technological times, in terms of wireless charging. No cords means less time untangling and more time reading.

As for the Kids edition, it will offer a beautiful ‘kid-friendly’ e-reader cover, a year of Amazon Kids+ and a two-year warranty. That’s a lot of protection and content for your children to keep them reading their favourite stories.

Amazon Announces 3 New Kindles To E-Reader LineupAmazon Announces 3 New Kindles To E-Reader Lineup
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Pre-orders are available now, get them Amazon Kindles while they’re hot.

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Apple Wallet is getting verifiable COVID-19 vaccination cards – TechCrunch

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There’s a real chance you’ll need proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to enter certain venues, and Apple is hoping it can save you the hassle of digging up an email or carrying a physical card in your pocket. The company is bringing verifiable COVID-19 vaccination cards to Wallet as part of a future iPhone software update. The feature will take advantage of the international SMART Health Cards standard (already in use in several states) to produce proof of vaccination, sign it with a private key and create a public key to verify your info.

The just-released iOS 15 already lets you store verifiable vaccination and test results in the Health app using the same standard. You’ll receive your records through QR codes, downloadable files or healthcare providers who use Health Records on iPhone.

Apple is promising strict privacy for all your data. The company won’t have access to your imported or shared records, and all info must be encrypted and securely stored when transferred elsewhere. The tech giant also can’t see your vaccination card or how you’ve used it. You can share information with “approved” third-party apps, but only on a one-time basis.

Apple didn’t say when it might release the card update. This won’t thrill you if you’re anxious about the very concept of sharing your vaccination status with a concert venue or restaurant. However, it should at least streamline the process — important when you’re already running late for a show.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Engadget.

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Amazon just leaked a brand-new Kindle Paperwhite – XDA Developers

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Amazon Canada has just leaked a brand new Kindle Paperwhite alongside an additional “Signature Edition”, thanks to a now-removed comparison table. The comparison table showed the differences between the last generation of Kindle Paperwhite and the new generation. While the regular Kindle Paperwhite sporting a 6.8-inch E-ink display. The Signature Edition also comes with wireless charging, more storage, and backlights which adjust based on the current light levels of the environment it’s being used in.

Kindle Paperwhite new comparsion

GoodEReader (via The Verge) spotted the addition to Amazon Canada, and we get an idea of what to expect thanks to the comparison table that’s published. Both Kindles are IPX8 water-resistant, and both have an adjustable warm light. The regular Kindle Paperwhite has 8GB of storage, whereas the Signature Edition has 32GB of storage. Both support Wi-Fi, and both have 17 LEDs on the front (up from just four on the regular Kindle). There are obviously a lot of details left out too, such as what type of charging port it uses. Kindles have been using micro USB for years upon years, and even the flagship Kindle Oasis still uses a micro USB port.

It’s unclear when Amazon will announce both of these new e-readers, though it’s likely to be soon given that it’s clear the site was being prepared for its launch. The last Kindle Paperwhite came out in November 2018, so we may not be too far off a launch. The Kindle Paperwhite appears to cost $149.99, and the Signature Edition appears to cost $209.99.

Last week saw the arrival of a complete Kindle UI revamp that will roll out over the next few weeks. It brings a brand-new design to the home screen and library UI, and also adds a new navigation bar. Presumably, both new models will have the latest Kindle firmware preloaded on release.

Featured image: Amazon Kindle (10th Generation)

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