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macOS Catalina ditches iTunes, adds security

Sidecar seems particularly useful

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It isn’t the sexiest of the bunch but the new macOS, which is called Catalina, got plenty of useful updates at WWDC 2019.

Goodbye, iTunes

If you’re a Mac user and you feel like you haven’t used iTunes in a while, that’s because it really hasn’t been all that useful. Good news, Apple noticed and it’s breaking iTunes apart into three: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV. With this development, it’s now easier to look for content you’re inclined to consume.

Apple Music will make it easier for users to discover new music. The TV app will have personalized recommendations on over 100,00 movies and TV shows that you can buy or rent. Lastly, there’s the podcast app which has over 700,000 shows in its catalog. Users will have the option to be notified if there are new episodes of podcasts they’re subscribed to.

Sidecar, Voice Control, and others

Another key productivity update is Sidecar. It turns your iPad into an extended display or a high-precision drawing tablet using supported Mac apps. Sidecar can also be a great tool for editing video, drawing, and working with documents. It can run on a wireless connection, so users can work with greater mobility.

Apple also believes that “technology is most powerful when everyone can use it.” With that in mind, they have integrated voice control on macOS. You can say specific instructions and your computer will do it for you. This is also available on iOS.

Other updates include better security through Gatekeeper. There’s also the new Find My app which lets one anonymously relay the location of a lost or stolen Mac to its owner by other Apple devices, even when offline.

There’s also Screen Time that tells you how much time you spend on your laptop using specific apps. This will you monitor your usage and help you decide when it’s time to step away from the keyboard.

The developer preview of macOS Catalina is available on the Apple Developer Program starting today, and a public beta program will be available to Mac users later in June. macOS Catalina will come out this fall as a free software update for Macs introduced in mid-2012 or later.

Accessories

Xiaomi’s 200W charger is coming next year

Production starts June

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Xiaomi is reportedly gearing up for the mass production of its 200W HyperCharge next year. This week, the charging wars heated up with iQOO’s rumored 160W charging solution coming out for the iQOO 8. Though the rumor was impressive, Xiaomi’s 200W wired charging solution, which was revealed earlier this year, was always looming in the shadows.

Back in May, the Chinese company official unveiled the charging solution, touting a charge time of just eight minutes for a 4000mAh battery. The solution also boasted a 120W wireless charging compatibility to boot. Naturally, as with most new technologies announced, it takes a while before the company can safely release it for the public. True enough, some reports warned that the blazing fast solution actually degraded batteries.

However, according to Chinese publication MyDrivers, Xiaomi is ready to unleash it to the public. The company is reportedly aiming for production to start as early as June 2022. It will supposedly pair up with Xiaomi’s most premium model next year, the Mi 12 Ultra.

For years, Chinese companies have worked on creating the best charging solutions for consumers. Though most new ones are just experiments at this point, some are already coming out for the market. Besides the impressive 160W charger from iQOO, Samsung is also reportedly working on a much-needed fast charger for next year’s flagships.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi unveils 200W fast charging technology, calls it HyperCharge

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Gaming

Trials of Mana now available on mobile

Mobile gamers might want to try this!

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Since its release in 1995, the Trials of Mana has come a long way. From the 16-bit era to the mobile gaming platform, this game is rich in history spanning 26 years. Now, the 3D remake of the JRPG classic Trials of Mana is now available on mobile.

The mobile version of the game includes many features, including new touch controls,  adjustable graphics settings and cloud save capabilities. Players can also receive two pieces of starting gear to help jumpstart their quest. The starting items are the Rabite Adornment and Silktail Adornment. 

Originally released in Japan as Seiken Densetsu 3 in 1995, Trials of Mana is a remake of the third entry in the classic Mana series. The game features a selectable main cast  with upgradable classes and over 300 different abilities to learn as they discover a world of secrets and mysteries. The series’ action battle system will put players to the test as they encounter enemies. The game was received well by its release on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Steam platforms.

Price and Availability

Trials of Mana is available on iOS and Android devices via the App Store or Google Play Store. The game is priced at US$ 23.99. 

SEE ALSO: Trials of Mana review: A nice glow up

 

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Gaming

Horizon Zero Dawn’s Aloy is coming to Genshin Impact

Will be available for all players… eventually

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Aloy

Turns out the PlayStation and Genshin Impact collaboration goes beyond PlayStation 5 specific updates. Aloy from the PlayStation game Horizon Zero Dawn will be a playable character on Genshin Impact.

Aloy — a five-star character — will be playable for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 players via in-game mail when Version 2.1 drops. The character can then be played on any platform thanks to the cross-save feature after being claimed from the PS5 or PS4.

Not a PlayStation player? Fret not. Aloy, will arrive to all players who have reached Adventure Rank 20 on Version 2.2. Her weapon, unfortunately, is a PlayStation exclusive.

Version 2.1 and Version 2.2 will also bring other updates that MiHoyo promised to release in detail shortly. Version 2.1 is coming on October 13, 2021 while version 2.2 will arrive on November 24, 2021. Could these also be clues on when the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel will release? We’ll have to wait and see.

Genshin Impact is a free-to-play open-world action RPG that brings players to the world of Teyvat. The player takes on the role of the mysterious “Traveler,” who sets off on a journey to discover the fate of their lost sibling.

Horizon Zero Dawn was a PlayStation exclusive game that launched in 2017. It received plenty of critical and commercial success. Its sequel — Horizon Forbidden West — is set to arrive in late 2021.

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