News

Apple’s new ‘free’ iCloud upgrades are designed to get more of your money

Read the fine print

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Every year, storage solutions grow faster than we can fill them. Despite the industry’s steadfast progress, cloud storage is still woefully catching up. Sadly, for some brands, progress hovers precariously out of reach.

Particularly, Apple’s latest efforts focuses more on sales rather than the actual product. Besides 5GB of free cloud storage, Apple now offers one month of free upgrades to more substantial storage plans.

For Apple users, the free 5GB of iCloud storage is part and parcel of every iPhone package. However, every smartphone photographer can tell you that five gigabytes pale in comparison to what everyday usage is like now.

Most users deplete this within a few months (if not, weeks). To increase this, Apple usually offers 50GB, 200GB, and 2TB upgrades on monthly subscription prices. Easily outclassed by their rivals, these upgrades don’t find much of an audience even from the most hardcore of users.

Now, Apple is offering free one-month trials for these upgrades. When users deplete their 5GB allocation, a new pop-up notifies users that they are entitled for a month of more iCloud storage.

However, this enticing offer hides a dastardly trap for unsuspecting subscribers. As with most online subscriptions, Apple will not automatically opt you out when your free month expires. After you finish the month, Apple will charge its users the regular rates for these upgrades.

Regardless, the internet has entertained this scheme for as long as online subscriptions have existed. The system hopes that users are either too ignorant to notice the fine print or too reliant on the upgrade to back out.

While internet-savvy users can detect the ploy immediately, Apple’s massive reach ensures that even casual users will receive the offer.

Unfortunately for Apple, competing cloud services still edge out iCloud handily. Most notably, Google Photos offers unlimited storage on the cloud for free.

Also, iCloud remains one of the weakest names in cyber security. Just a few years ago, hackers breached and obtained extremely sensitive material from the iCloud accounts of famous Hollywood celebrities.

SEE ALSO: What’s the difference between RAM and internal storage?

Gaming

TNC Predator, Afreeca Freecs Fatal win Predator League APAC 2019

For Dota 2 and PUBG, respectively

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After three long days of battle in Bangkok, Thailand from February 15 to 17, two champions have emerged from the two featured games of the Predator League in Asia Pacific 2019.

For Dota 2, it’s TNC Predator from the Philippines; and for PUBG, the champ is none other than Afreeca Freecs Fatal from South Korea.

Their winnings come from a prize pool worth US$ 250,000. Each champion receives US$ 75,000 for their efforts, while the runners-up split the remaining pot.

The grand event concluded after over 3,500 competing teams from 16 countries were eventually reduced to only 26 groups in Bangkok for the finals.

This was the Predator League’s second event in the APAC region. In 2018, it was held in Indonesia. Next year’s event will take place in the Philippines.

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Cameras

Fujifilm X-T30 is a lightweight 4K mirrorless camera

Cheaper version of the X-T3

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Image credit: Fujifilm

After Canon‘s announcement of the new EOS RP, it’s now Fujifilm‘s turn to present their latest offering: the X-T30. Fuji’s new mirrorless interchangeable camera is the successor to 2017’s X-T20.

The X-T30 is positioned to be a cheaper variant of the flagship X-T3 camera, but they actually share many common features and specs. It’s got a compact and lightweight body at just 383g which looks similar to the premium model, but with some minor changes at the back. It’s got a focus joystick instead of a d-pad, but retains the touchscreen.

Speaking of, it’s a 2-way tilting LCD panel with 1.04 million dots. The EVF, on the other hand, is a 2.36-million-dot OLED color viewfinder with a near 100 percent coverage area.

Image credit: Fujifilm

Inside the camera is a 26.1-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 160 to 12800, which is expandable up to 51200, and backed by an X-Processor 4. With this, the X-T30 can shoot 30fps at 1.25x crop and 20fps without a crop using the electronic shutter. If you wish to use the mechanical shutter, the speed will be reduced to 8fps.

It has a hybrid AF system with 100 percent phase-detect AF, face detection, and eye tracking. Autofocus is also improved even in low-light. Focusing can be selected either through the touchscreen or joystick.

When it comes to video, the camera can shoot 4K at 30fps and up to 120fps when downscaled to 1080p. It’s capable of 10-bit recording and 4:2:2 DCI 4K video through the HDMI port. Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes are also available.

The Fujifilm X-T30 will be available in March starting at US$ 899 for the body only. It’ll go up to US$ 999 when bundled with an XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens, or US$ 1,299 when bundled with an 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens.

SEE ALSO: Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?

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MWC 2019

LG V50 ThinQ will be company’s first 5G smartphone

Arriving right before MWC 2019

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We have yet another leak ahead of LG’s press conference happening right before Mobile World Congress 2019. This time, it’s for the company’s first 5G smartphone, the V50 ThinQ.

It comes in the form of a tweet by Evan Blass, who also spilled the beans on LG’s upcoming G8 ThinQ flagship a few days ago.

This confirms that the 5G smartphone LG will be showing off at MWC in Barcelona, Spain is the V50 ThinQ. Previously, we knew of such a handset coming on February 24, but we didn’t know what branding it would go under.

The leak, however, points to exclusivity with US carrier Sprint. It might also be a limited partnership, but we can more or less confirm that the V50 ThinQ will carry a Snapdragon 855 chipset in order to handle 5G signals.

In addition, we can see an extra camera on the front and back as compared to the G8 ThinQ’s setup. Sadly, it seems like the wide notch is sticking around.

Surprisingly, the V50 ThinQ is launching less than five months after the V40 ThinQ’s release. LG may be prioritizing its 5G rollout and needs an existing series to lay it on.

We’ll learn more once LG takes the stage on February 24 to reveal all its new devices, which might also include a foldable phone.

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