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The Morning After: Facebook's gaming app plans – Engadget



The Morning After


Facebook’s latest attempt to woo gamers (and the subsequent advertising dollars) is, simply, an app. According to The New York Times, the app will launch today on Android devices, with plans to launch on iOS as soon as it picks up approval. With current world events and lots of us stuck indoors, it could be smart timing. Facebook’s game streaming services have grown in the last few years, but it’s still dwarfed by the likes of Twitch and YouTube. 

Will an app help?

— Mat

LG’s heavily teased Velvet phone is a premium mid-range device.

With 5G and a slick design.

LG Velvet
LG Velvet

If a new iPhone and OnePlus flagship weren’t enough, here comes LG. It’s published a video teaser that showcases its Velvet phone, including the curved edges, that “raindrop” rear camera layout and vivid color options that include the chameleonic “Illusion Sunset.” The clip also confirms rumors that this is an upper mid-range phone rather than a flagship — the Velvet will have 5G, but it’s running a Snapdragon 765 instead of the 865 from this year’s high-end Android devices. Maybe, then, we’ll be looking at another cheaper phone? Continue reading.

Australia will make Facebook and Google pay for news content

A mandatory code for online news deals is on the way.

Morning After

Australia has ordered its Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to create a mandatory code of conduct that would ask Facebook, Google and others to pay news outlets when they use content. The code would also dictate data sharing, news ranking and revenue sharing. There will be penalties if companies don’t follow through as well as a binding resolution process for any disputes.

Officials had been negotiating a voluntary code, but the COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden hit to ad revenue for media companies prompted the shift to a mandatory system. The ACCC also said that it was “unlikely” tech companies would come to a voluntary agreement on payments. Government Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, meanwhile, argued that it was “only fair” that news outlets got paid for the work they were creating. It follows moves in Europe to tap tech companies that profit from media companies — France has ordered internet firms to pay for showing news article snippets, and Google subsequently decided to remove news previews. Continue reading.

Instagram founders reunite to create a COVID-19 spread tracker shows how each state is controlling the virus spread.

Morning After

Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have put out their first joint product since leaving Facebook, and it’s not a social network. It does, however, build on their work with virality. 

The two have launched, a site that helps track attempts to fight the spread of COVID-19 in each state. The project takes advantage of Systrom’s open-source approach to calculating Rt (the average number of people infected by a given infected person) on a daily basis to show how well a given state is coping — anything below an Rt of one indicates a successful fight against the disease.

The site also helps make sense of the data in a way you don’t always see with these trackers. You can filter by region and the use of shelter in place orders (as you might guess, those states without orders are typically faring worse). Continue reading.

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Our readers think the Pixel 3a is a first-rate budget phone

Google’s cheapest handset impressed our users.

The Pixel 3a is almost a year old — and its sequel approaches. The company’s high-end flagship for 2018, the Pixel 3, was reproduced in the Pixel 3a handset with a budget price point. And it mostly stuck the landing. In our review, we were pleased by the mix of value and performance that the 3a offered and weren’t deterred by its polycarbonate body or lack of water resistance. We asked readers to share their feelings about the handset, and they provided plenty of details on how the 3a fit their particular needs. Continue reading.

After Math: What to spend your stimulus check on

Yeah, $1,200 probably won’t cover rent.

Last week was filled with new gadgets that may not be your priority. After the meds, the food and the bills… Continue reading.

COVID-19 scammers may have stolen millions from the German government

Many Instacart shoppers still don’t have their COVID-19 safety gear

Senate panel wants stricter oversight of Chinese telecoms

Facebook is releasing a dedicated gaming app tomorrow

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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Reminder: You Can Download A Free Version Of Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics – Nintendo Life



Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics is Nintendo’s latest release. If you’re still not sure if this is the right game for you – did you know you can actually try out a free edition that gives you access to four games and local multiplayer?

Yep, if you head on over to the Switch eShop in select regions, you can download it right now. The four games included are Dominos, Four-in-a-Row, President, and Slot Cars. Apart from local multiplayer options, you can also play each game by yourself. Here’s a description along with the Japanese trailer:

About the Guest Edition:

This trial version of 51 Worldwide Games includes 4 games that you can take on the go to play anytime, anywhere. You can play the games contained here in Local Play with other players who have the Guest Edition! If your friends download the Guest Edition, up to 4 players can join in a game of dominoes or president. If someone has the full version, you can use Local Play to join in any of the multiplayer games.

Will you be trying out this free edition, or jumping straight into the full game? Leave a comment down below.

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2020 iPhone Shock As Five ‘All-New’ Apple iPhones Revealed – Forbes



Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup has already leaked in stunning detail. But now new information not only disputes a lot of this, it also gives a first look at the company’s radical all-new 2021 iPhone. 

MORE FROM FORBESApple Just Gave Millions Of Users A Reason To Keep Their iPhones

Respected Japanese site Macotakara delivers the shocks, having tapped into its supply chain sources to attain 3D printed models of Apple’s four iPhone 12 models and completely overhauled 2021 redesign. If correct, the news is going to leave millions of iPhone users disappointed this year but blown away by Apple’s ambitious plans for the so-called iPhone 13. 

Starting with the four iPhone 12 models, Macotakara shows that contrary to popular opinion (and despite all-new internals), externally the range will not deviate as far from the iPhone 11 lineup as widely expected.

The models show Apple will stick with the large display notch introduced with the iPhone X, retain the Lightning port and exclude the LiDAR sensor first seen on the new iPad Pro and tipped to be introduced on the iPhone 12 Pros. This means the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max stick with triple cameras in a triangular array, though the new entry-level 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max will get dual cameras whereas the iPhone 11 has just a single module. 

Overall, there are significant disappointments here but, conversely, Macotakara’s mold of the 2021 entry-level iPhone 13 blows away all expectations.

For 2021, Macotakara states Apple will replace the notch with a tiny punch hole for the front camera and hide all other FaceID sensors under the display thanks to ‘Under Panel Sensor’ technology from Samsung. Thanks to thinner bezels, the display of the 5.4-inch model will also increase to 5.5-inches in the same chassis, and the Lightning port will finally be replaced by USB-C. Lastly, the back of the phone shows space reserved in the camera bump for up to five modules. 

While a lot can still change in terms of the 2021 design, if Macotakara’s sources are correct, I suspect many potential iPhone 12 owners postpone their upgrades to 2021. Internally, the iPhone 12 models will be all-new thanks to the biggest A series upgrade in years, 5G across the range, 120Hz ProMotion displays (with some doubts) and prices which will undercut the competition. That said, a fourth generation of the same design introduced by the iPhone X in 2017 may prove to be a dealbreaker. 

All of which sets us up for a clash of the heavyweights. Macotakara famously scooped Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack in 2016 and has delivered a solid array of exclusives ever since. That said, 2020’s most accurate Apple insider has very different ideas about the iPhone 12 and 13 so watch this space. 


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Google looking to provide support services for satellite internet providers: job listing – 9to5Google



Within Alphabet, there are currently three products that directly provide internet service to end-users: Google Fi, Google Fiber, and Loon. According to a new job posting, Google looks to be getting into the business of supporting satellite internet providers.

A Google Careers listing today reveals a “Partner Manager” role to “help launch a global satellite-based broadband service.” The emphasis is on “help,” with the next line noting how “you will support satellite broadband service providers, productize the solution and make it available to other satellite broadband ISPs.”

As a Partner Manager, you will help launch a global satellite based broadband service. You will support satellite broadband service providers, productize the solution and make it available to other satellite broadband ISPs. You’ll manage partners on a day to day basis to make sure that we meet their growth plans in existing markets. You’ll manage the pod and service delivery timeline, work with Google and cross functional teams to handle and process monthly/quarterly PO and Invoices, and ensure continued availability of transit in the existing and new markets.

From this description, Google does not appear to be launching its own satellites, but rather helping an existing partner establish their network. It’s unclear who that partner is, but Google will use what it learns to offer similar services to other companies.

A “Responsibilities” section later on provides more details:

  • Negotiate any deal with a 3rd party vendor to support product and partner development.
  • Build a pipeline and start engaging with other satellite broadband service providers to explore expanding product offering to other players.

The satellite internet access space is currently dominated by Starlink from SpaceX, which launched 60 satellites yesterday. The goal is to have internet delivered from space rather than through wires in the ground. Coincidentally, Google in 2015 led a $1 billion investment round into the Elon Musk company.

It’s unclear what Google’s service would look like, but Alphabet’s Loon division provides a possible clue. Known for balloons that provide internet service following disasters, the company last year announced that it was adapting its routing technology for low Earth orbit satellites with Telesat. The system helps ensure a connection between the many moving parts of such a network.

That said, this role is based within Google and located in Mountain View. There are no other satellite job listings at the company, and we’ve reached out to Google for more details.

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