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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.

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Netflix might ask more users to watch films before they premiere

An exclusive group

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Watching a movie before it comes out thrusts viewers into an exclusive sweet spot beyond normal moviegoers. Not everyone gets into this club, though. Usually, the privilege of an advanced screening goes to people involved in the moviemaking industry. However, with the current zeitgeist revolving around streaming services like Netflix, it’s easier to catch a movie before anyone else can.

Offering more users a chance to enter this club, Netflix is expanding its pool of preview viewers starting next year. First reported by Wall Street Journal, the platform will reportedly include tens of thousands of viewers — a gigantic climb from its current base of around 2,000 users.

Members of this group will have access to unreleased movies and series over a period of six months. After which, users will answer surveys to help Netflix determine which movies are worth seeing or skipping. It works like a focus group but automated by Netflix’s system.

If the program does expand next year, the company has not confirmed how it will do so or who is eligible to join. If anything, they have been asking subscribers their interest in taking part in the program.

Focus groups and advanced screenings are a common part of Netflix’s content cycle. Besides asking users for feedback before releasing content, the platform also releases content in other formats prior to a streaming launch. For example, the upcoming sequel to Knives Out, Glass Onion, premiered in select theaters for a week before its streaming release on December 23.

SEE ALSO: IN PHOTOS: Dubbing with Netflix, HIT Productions

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Infinix debuts powerful ZERO 5G 2023

Impressive upgrades, better capabilities

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Infinix ZERO 5G 2023

Infinix is welcoming December in a massive way, debuting the powerful ZERO 5G 2023 which comes with impressive upgrades and improved storage capabilities.

The smartphone will be among the first devices to house a MediaTek Dimensity 1080 6nm 5G chipset for up to 2.6Hz of maximum power, while its 5,000mAh battery supports 33W Fast Charge technology.

There is an 8GB RAM plus 5GB of extended RAM for mobile gamers to enjoy, while the phone’s storage is set at 256GB.

The display is likewise off the charts, through a 6.78-inch FHD screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz sample rate.

Among the device’s features are Clever 5G mode for battery optimization and Auto-Switch Refresh Rate mode.

When it comes to the camera package, the Infinix ZERO 5G 2023 has a 50MP AI camera, 2 MP depth camera, and 2MP micro camera in its triple camera setup on the rear.

There are Super Night Mode and Night Filter features so that low light captures are no problem. There’s also Film Mode for simpler and more efficient video editing of up to 960fps clips.

Pricing, availability

The ZERO 5G 2023’s availability will vary depending on the region. For now, its price starts at US$ 239 and there will be three color options to choose from: Pearly White, Coral Orange, and Submariner Black. 

Be sure to bookmark this link to stay up to date on Infinix’s latest mid-ranger.

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Corning unveils tougher Gorilla Glass Victus 2

Can survive 1m drops on concrete

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Smartphones are getting stronger. Because of ever-growing technology, smartphones today can more easily withstand bumps, dings, and accidents. Besides the intricate labyrinth of chips inside, it’s also important to look at the screen. In the next evolution of screen durability, Corning has unveiled next year’s Gorilla Glass Victus 2, featuring more protection against the most common smartphone accident.

If you’re out and about, there’s a good chance that you’re holding your phone in your hand. All it takes is either a miscalculation or slippery hands to send your phone tumbling onto the unforgiving concrete. According to Corning, “over 30 percent of the drops [smartphones] were having were on concrete, more than any other surface.”

Building on its predecessor’s formula, the Gorilla Glass Victus 2 can now survive drops from one meter on concrete. Plus, much like the original Victus, this version can withstand drops from two meters on smoother asphalt. The new material also compensates for larger and heavier form factors.

Now, the big question: Does it matter? Though it might seem insignificant, more durability on rougher surfaces means more protection in real-life scenarios. In the real world, not everything is as smooth as concrete. More often than not, smartphones will fall onto uneven surfaces. Even a single tiny bump can spell disaster for the hardiest of screens.

Corning has not confirmed which smartphones will get the new glass yet. However, the company hints that it’s coming to a flagship in the coming months. Given the timing (and the specs of the previous generation), it’s not difficult to assume that next year’s Galaxy S23 series will get the Victus 2 first.

SEE ALSO: Corning’s new Gorilla Glass Victus can survive a 2 meter drop

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