Xbox Summer Game Fest event will have more than 60 downloadable demos
- With traditional trade shows like E3 and Gamescom cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Microsoft is planning to bring a slice of the show floor experience to your living room.
- As part of Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest, Microsoft will make dozens of demos for upcoming Xbox One games available to download for a week.
- There’ll be more than 60 demos available, and while the list is still being finalized, Gregory says it should include “somewhere between 75 and 100 when the dust settles.” Confirmed titles include Cris Tales, Destroy All Humans!, Haven, Hellpoint, Skatebird, The Vale: Shadow of the Crown, Raji: An Ancient Epic, and Welcome to Elk. Microsoft’s Summer Game Fest Demo Event will be available to access from July 21st to July 27th on Xbox One consoles.
How to watch videos with friends online
- Here are several apps you can use to host movie nights with friends online, along with step-by-step instructions on how to start watching.
- Netflix Party syncs up your streams with those of your friends and adds a live chat on one side of the screen.
- Metastream allows you to live chat while watching videos on a range of platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Twitch, and Crunchyroll (Metastream will open Netflix in a separate window).
- Scener lets you video chat with your friends while watching Netflix, HBO Now, HBO Go (it does not currently support HBO Max), Disney Plus, or Vimeo; there’s also a text chat function.
- In addition to Netflix, you can use it to watch Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, YouTube, and Vimeo.
- Hulu’s ad-free plans now allow you to host a virtual watch party for up to eight people using live text chat within the service.
Google discontinues the Pixel 3A and 3A XL
- The 3A is, in fact, listed as out of stock on the Google Store.
- With the discontinuation of the Pixel 3A, the only phone Google sells on its own store is its flagship Pixel 4, which was released last October.
- But a mid-range successor to the Pixel 4, supposedly called the Pixel 4A, could be coming soon, and we may already know a lot about it after months of rumors and leaks.
- The rumored Pixel 4A apparently has a 5.81-inch display with a 2340 x 1080 resolution, a Snapdragon 730 processor, a 12.2-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a fingerprint reader on the back of the phone, and a headphone jack.
- So for now, if you want the latest mid-range Google phone, you’ll have to snag one of the last Pixel 3As, if you can find one.
Dark Sky delays shutdown of Android app until August 1st
- Popular weather app Dark Sky, now owned by Apple, is keeping its doors open on Android for a little longer.
- The company said on Wednesday in an update on its website that it plans to keep the Android version going until August 1st, after initially announcing it would shut it down today, on July 1st.
- On August 1st, all existing subscribers to Dark Sky’s Android version will receive a full refund — Dark Sky has charged Android users $2.99 a year for access to the service, whereas the iOS version involved just a $3.99 one-time purchase.
- Dark Sky says August 1st is also when it will remove weather forecasts, maps, and embeds from its website, pushed back from an original July 1st deadline as well.
- The Dark Sky API, in part why Apple purchased the company, is remaining active through the end of the year, but it’s no longer accepting new signups.
Fans are upset with Crysis Remaster’s graphics, so Crytek is delaying the game
- When Crytek announced that a remaster for the original Crysis would launch this year, fans were excited to see how much the game’s legendary graphics would improve — but a leaked trailer has left so many fans disappointed with the graphical changes that Crytek has now pushed the game’s release by several weeks.
- Crysis, a sci-fi first-person shooter series originally released on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, was praised for its graphical design and remained a benchmark for people looking to test the power of their gaming PC builds.
- Crysis Remaster’s delay mirrors a similar move made by the film industry last year when Paramount pushed back the release date for the film adaption of Sonic The Hedgehog after it received backlash regarding the design of the titular blue hedgehog.
Google is still paying Apple billions to be the default search engine in Safari
- UK regulators are scrutinizing a longstanding deal between Apple and Google over the default search engine in the iPhone maker’s mobile Safari browser, reports Reuters.
- According to an updated report compiled by the UK government’s Competition and Markets Authority, Google pays Apple a “substantial majority” of the £1.2 billion (roughly $1.5 billion) it pays every year in the UK alone for so-called default positions, in other words when Google pays a company to make its search engine the go-to one in a browser or other platform.
- For years, mobile Safari has relied on Google search, making the iPhone a substantial revenue-generator for Google’s mobile ad business and giving it a competitive edge over the competition.
- In 2019, Google paid around £1.2 billion in return for default positions in the UK alone, the substantial majority of which was paid to Apple for being the default on the Safari browser.
Lincoln cancels the Continental again because the US is hooked on SUVs
- Lincoln is ending production of the famed Continental sedan at the end of 2020, just four years after reintroducing the vehicle following a 14-year hiatus.
- As Automotive News first reported, Lincoln will continue to sell the car in the US and Chinese markets into next year.
- Lincoln has long been rumored to be interested in building vehicles in China but would not say if it plans to shift production of the Continental there.
- Automakers like to say they’ve shifted their lineups to feature more SUVs and trucks because consumers prefer the higher ride height, the extra cabin space and added utility, and the ease of ingress and egress.
- And those things are true, but these companies also make far more money on each SUV sold than they do on sedans.
Microsoft announces new Windows 10 Start menu design and updated Alt-Tab
- Microsoft is introducing a new Windows 10 Start menu design that will de-emphasize its Live Tiles.
- “We are freshening up the Start menu with a more streamlined design that removes the solid color backplates behind the logos in the apps list and applies a uniform, partially transparent background to the tiles,” explains Microsoft in a blog post.
- Alongside an updated Start menu, the latest Windows 10 build includes some big changes to Alt-Tab.
- Microsoft experimented with Alt-Tab changes in Windows 10 builds in the past, back when the company was planning to add tabs to every app.
- There will likely be a lot of feedback around any Alt-Tab changes here, especially if Microsoft plans to turn this on by default when its next major Windows 10 update ships later this year.
Sling TV promises not to raise prices on customers like everyone else is doing
- YouTube TV said its sharp price increase is a reflection of a growing slate of channels, including recent additions from ViacomCBS like Comedy Central, BET, and MTV that had been absent from the service until now.
- Alas, there’s no way for existing customers to keep paying the same price for the previous channel package.
- Everyone moves to the same plan, and YouTube TV has refrained from offering tiered channel bundles like some other services.
- There was one small nugget of good news in YouTube’s announcement: the company said it’s “working to build new flexible models for YouTube TV users,” but it didn’t have any details to share on what that might look like.
- FuboTV is now more expensive, and you’ve got to jump through some customer service hoops if you want to pay the lowest price.
TuSimple is laying the groundwork for a coast-to-coast autonomous trucking network
- Autonomous trucking startup TuSimple is joining forces with big logistics providers as it seeks to bolster its delivery capabilities.
- The company announced it will be working with UPS, Xpress Enterprises, Penske Trucking, and Berkshire Hathaway-owned grocery and food-service distributor McLane to lay the foundation for a coast-to-coast autonomous trucking network.
- If all goes well, TuSimple claims it will eventually expand operations to Europe and China.
- TuSimple is aiming for a fully driverless system, but currently its trucks include a human operator to take over driving when needed.
- Autonomous trucking is starting to emerge from the shadow of the much larger robotaxi industry, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cast doubt on the efficacy of shared ride-hailing.
- Other companies, from established players like Daimler to newcomers like Ike, Embark, and Plus.ai, are also working toward a fully driverless truck.