News

Apple is working on smart home products

Plus the return of the HomePod

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Despite being one of the biggest companies in technology today, Apple still has some catching up to do. Other companies in the industry, namely Amazon and Google, have expanded their reach into other facets of a person’s lifestyle, including the smart home. Leveraging its already successful lineup, Apple is spending more time to plunge deeper into the intricate world of smart homes.

As reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the company is currently working on four smart home devices, bolstering what the lineup already has. Unsurprisingly, the new slate includes two upgrades to Apple’s HomePod lineup: a resurrected HomePod and an improved HomePod mini. (Of note, Apple canceled the regular version last year, making the potential upgrade a big return for the company.)

The other two devices are more surprising. Both will feature a screen and a smart speaker rolled into one. Think of a love child between an iPad and a HomePod. One of the two will focus primarily on kitchen use, while the other (expanded with an onboard camera) will feature prominently in the living room.

For smart home enthusiasts, the device should sound familiar. It bears a striking resemblance to Amazon’s Echo Show lineup or Google’s Nest Hub. That said, there is no guarantee that these devices will make their way to a debut in the future. Regardless, Apple is certainly trying to make more progress in delivering smart home products besides just smart speakers.

SEE ALSO: Apple is enticing Android users to switch with new ad

Gaming

Spider-Man: Miles Morales is getting a PC port

Coming later this fall

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After the first one got a much-awaited port, it was only a matter of time before a second webslinger pops up on PC. Enjoying a much shorter lead time than the first game, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is officially getting a PC port later this year.

Earlier this year, Sony released the official port for the first game, Marvel’s Spider-Man, featuring Peter Parker as the titular superhero. At the time, Insomniac and Nixxes Software (the studio behind the port) only had perfunctory plans to bring Miles Morales along for the PC ride.

In practically no time at all, Sony has announced the official coming of the second game through its own teaser trailer. Though the trailer does not end with a release date, it will launch sometime in the fall of this year.

In terms of ports, Sony has found massive success in bringing its formerly exclusive games to more markets. Now, PC players can finally get access to critically acclaimed title from consoles. In Spider-Man’s case, various modders have already created a thriving community for the first game. One such segment involves replacing Peter’s model with other characters like Stan Lee.

Will Miles Morales get the same hype and fanfare? Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales continues the story started by Peter Parker. After being bitten by a radioactive spider, Miles sets off on his own adventure with electrifying powers.

If you can’t wait for the PC port, the game is still available for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

SEE ALSO: Spider-Man things you can watch right now

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Apps

TikTok officially launches a dislike button

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Months ago, TikTok started experimenting with a dislike button for the platform’s comments. Much like other platforms, the company is creating a way to promote healthier discourse. However, the experiment never had a launch date all those months ago. Finally, after months in development, TikTok is finally ready to launch the dislike button.

Through the platform’s official Twitter account, TikTok is releasing the dislike button. This time, the platform has explained how the feature will work.

As detailed before, users will not see how many dislikes a comment has. Users will only have access to the button itself to dislike and retract dislikes. Only TikTok itself can see the number of dislikes. The platform will then use the information to filer through potential hate speech and harassment that they might have missed the first go-around.

By hiding the number of dislikes, TikTok hopes that users will not be tempted to abuse the dislike button to brigade against just simply unpopular opinions.

While moderation will help the platform with a persistent problem in social media, the company does have other issues. One current problem — that has plagued the platform for years now — is the issue of China’s potential access to data from users in other countries.

SEE ALSO: TikTok is experimenting with a dislike button for comments

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News

Nothing teases new earbuds called the Ear Stick

Fashion!

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Carl Pei’s Nothing continues to be one of the most eccentric tech brands today. Starting with a couple of enigmatic releases, the company is still riding the trend with its upcoming device. Debuting exclusively during a fashion show, Nothing has announced its next product, the Ear Stick.

While it’s a step up in creativity from “ear (1)” or “phone (1),” “Ear Stick” is certainly a unique choice for the name of a new tech product. However, if you see the product, it’s also an accurate one.

The upcoming Ear Stick refers to the cylindrical charging case which will carry the company’s next set of earbuds. Shaped like a tube of lipstick, the charging case is a unique take on what the industry considers as the default shape of similar products. That said, it makes sense to unveil it during a fashion show — specifically, Chet Lo’s SS23 runway.

True to its fashionista pedigree, the case will come in at least three different flavors: white with a red cover, blue with pink, and green with yellow.

Unfortunately, the fashion show reveal did not show what the actual earbuds look like. According to Nothing, the new device will look different to how the ear (1)’s design. As always, users will have to wait for any crumbs that the company will sporadically sprinkle all over.

SEE ALSO: Nothing officially launches Phone 1

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