News

Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL still great for photos, now with 90Hz panel

All leaks mostly confirmed

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The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL are now official confirming most of the leaks that came out leading up to its launch. So what’s different, what improved, and what stayed the same? We’ll go through all of that right now.

No fancy waterfall displays, just thoughtful design

Google appears to be taking plenty of cues from Apple in the design department in the sense that not much has changed. Looking at the device up front, you might mistake it for the Pixel 2XL. That’s because Google is doing away with the notch but it’s keeping the thick bezel for a reason that we’ll get to later on.

On the back, the most notable difference is the square holding its dual camera setup. Yes, just two. One main shooter and another one that’s “roughly 2x telephoto.” Google says, “While wide angle can be fun, telephoto is more important.”

The back is also moving away from the two-toned design we’ve grown to associate with the Pixel. In its place is a solid glass back with only a single color and a frosted matte coating.

The power button is still a different color from the rest of the phone depending on the variant you choose.

Still the best camera on a smartphone?

Plenty of people are eagerly waiting for the Pixel just to see well they will fair in the camera department. Based on the latest numbers by DxOMark, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro currently holds the crown but that might be quickly taken away soon.

The hardware on the Pixel 4 are as follows: 12.2MP main camera with f/1.7 aperture, plus a 16MP f/2.4 telephoto zoom lens that supports hybrid zoom. But the Pixel has always been more than just hardware.

The true crowning glory of the Pixel cameras is Google’s computational photography. And that applies even on the telephoto lens. It combines both the 2x telephoto lens along with Super-Res Zoom to produce high quality, zoomed in images.

There’s now also what Google is calling Live HDR+. It basically means the HDR application happens real-time. Basically, whatever you see right before you take a shot is the photo that you should expect to come it.

That same feature allows Double Exposure — separate slides for highlights and shadows on Pixel 4 before you take your shot.

Computational photography also lends a huge hand in white balancing along with a wider range for portrait mode, and improved night sight.

That front-camera setup

Again, just like on the iPhone, there’s now a lot going on in that thick forehead bezel.

It’s not home to a bunch of new sensors that work together towards a more secure face recognition suite. There’s the selfie camera, a pair of IR cameras, flood illuminators, and DOT projectors.

Google says it’s the first smartphone equipped with a radar. It enables Motion Sense which Google claims is the fastest and most secure face unlock feature on a smartphone. It also allows you to control the Pixel 4 without touching it — similar to the Air Gestures that Samsung first tried a few years back.

Overall equipped with better hardware

Displays with high refresh rate might be a growing trend and the Pixel doesn’t want to be left behind. The phone is equipped with a 90Hz panel, similar to the one on the most recent OnePlus smartphones.

The rest of the device also gets a spec bump. Powering the Pixel 4 is Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC along with 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage. Nothing to write home about as the numbers pale in comparison to other flagships in 2019. But, again like the iPhone, the Pixel isn’t exactly about the numbers.

You might also be happy to know that both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL have an IP68 rating.

Pricing and availability 

The Google Pixel 4 starts at US$ 799 and will start shipping on October 24. It will come in three colors: Just Black, Clearly White, and Oh So Orange. It will be available through all major US carriers.

Gaming

The Sims 4 now has customizable pronouns for Sims

Available in English now

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Still the most popular simulation game today, The Sims 4 thrives on allowing players full freedom to customize their experience in the virtual world. Sims can ideally become whatever the player wants them to be. However, amid the game’s inherent freedom, it lacks an arguably important feature in today’s inclusive climate: customizable pronouns. Well, it did. In a new update, users can now do so.

Starting today, players can fully customize their Sim’s pronouns on the Create a Sim interface. They can choose between he/him, she/her, they/them, and fully customized ones. The interface is accessible at any time through the Create a Sim menu with any Sim– not just while creating a new Sim.

Besides the three multiple choice options, players can also create their own mixes of pronouns on the interface. They can customize the subjective, objective, possessive dependent, possessive independent, and reflexive forms of the pronouns they wish to use. (If this sounds too complicated without an English teacher, the game offers a guide and some examples to help players along the way.)

Adding customizable pronouns is a big step in the right direction for inclusivity in an immersive simulation game. However, the update is only available for those playing The Sims 4 in English for now. Naturally, other non-English languages approach pronouns in different ways. Developers at EA and Maxis want to get the system perfect before rolling it out to other users.

SEE ALSO: Electronic Arts is reportedly putting its company up for sale

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Apps

Waze now supports Apple Music

Link those accounts

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Music always goes well with driving. However, because driving demands both hands on the wheel, controlling music playback isn’t always the most seamless experiences. Thankfully, a lot of navigation apps are expanding their support towards the most popular music streaming platforms right now. Today, Waze has announced that the app now supports dual functionality with Apple Music.

Of course, Apple Music isn’t the most popular platform today. Still, expanding support is always a win. With the new update, Waze users can now control their Apple Music content straight from the navigation app.

It does need a bit of setup, of course. Users will have to link their Waze account to their Apple Music account through the Audio Player setting on the app. Besides Apple Music, Waze also supports Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.

Though the streaming platform is already a staple especially for Apple users, Apple Music is doing more to create a viable plan against other streaming giants today, including a cheaper Siri-only plan that rids the need for an app interface. The service also increased the price of its student plan in several countries recently.

Both Apple Music and Waze are available for download on the App Store and on the Play Store.

SEE ALSO: Apple Music increases subscription price for students

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News

Apple releases two new Apple Watch Pride Edition bands

For Pride Month 2022

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Show off your colors. June is once again Pride Month. To celebrate the occasion, Apple is releasing two new Pride Edition bands for the Apple Watch. It comes in two amazing flavors, giving users some options on how to express their identity. Starting today, Apple Watch users can customize their bands with the Pride Edition Sport Loop and the Pride Edition Nike Sports Loop.

First off, the Pride Edition Sport Loop is a white nylon band brandishing the combined power of several pride flags including transgender and gender-nonconforming identities. It also has colors for the Black and the Latinx community. Crossing each color in the rainbow, a stylized “pride” shines across the band, similar to the style of the classic Macintosh “hello.”

Further, with the new App Clip functionality, the band comes with its own dedicated watch face to match hardware with software.

Secondly, the Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is a simpler black band with pride colors across its length. The main headline is the accompanying watch face, though. As part of Nike’s Be True collection, the watch face is a gradient depicting pride colors and representing the identity in sports.

Both bands are now available for order online for US$ 49. It will also come to Apple Store branches starting May 26.

Besides the two bands, Apple is also releasing a Shot on iPhone campaign during Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ community.

SEE ALSO: GadgetMatch’s wallpaper ‘Fluid’ is a coming out story

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