News

Huawei P9 and P9 Plus Philippine launch date revealed

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We’ve seen Samsung and LG launch their respective flagships for 2016 in the Philippines, and now, apparently, it’s Huawei’s turn. As expected, the Chinese phone maker is set to announce the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus on May 31, a month after its London reveal. The Philippines joins Indonesia and Malaysia as one of the first South Pacific markets to see the luxury phone hit retail locations. Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand are said to be next on Huawei’s rollout list.

The arrival of the P9 and P9 Plus is likely to excite consumers who rely on their smartphone’s camera to take photos and video. Both phones feature a pair of rear cameras with 12-megapixel sensors working in tandem to deliver the sharpest and most detailed image possible. Yes, Huawei bets two cameras are better than one, and the feedback so far has been promising, with many in the tech community raving about the P9 series’ imaging chops.

Huawei p9 colors

Neither phone is a slouch on performance end as well; the P9 phones are powered by a HiSilicon Kirin 955 chip, Huawei’s fastest yet, with up to 4GB of RAM. Their screen sizes vary by almost half an inch (5.2 inches for the standard P9 versus 5.5 inches for the Plus model).

No word on local availability and pricing yet, but expect the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus to retail for P25,000 ($530) and P30,000 ($635), respectively.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPwpFojqFww

[irp posts=”1870″ name=”Huawei’s new P9 and P9 Plus phones take a swing at low-light photography”]

News

Facebook is launching messaging between Messenger and Instagram

Rolling out to a few countries first

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Last year, Facebook announced an expansive plan to merge its messaging apps on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The initiative will hopefully create a cohesive ecosystem across their related platforms. In August, the company finally started to take comprehensive steps towards that goal, inviting select users to the future program. Now, the secret’s out. Facebook is launching messaging between Messenger and Instagram.

Officially announced today, Facebook is rolling out a Messenger-centric update to Instagram’s Direct Messaging feature. Obviously, the biggest addition is cross-platform messaging between the two platforms. Instagram users can now message Messenger users directly through the app. Even more, the cross-functionality comes with video call compatibility.

Besides this function, Facebook is also introducing new features to Instagram Messaging. It now has its own Selfie Stickers, customizable chat colors, personalized emoji reactions, and animated message effects. Further,

Instagram and Messengers users can now watch content together. This includes “Facebook Watch, IGTV, Reels, TV shows, movies,” and video calls.

Right now, Facebook is releasing the update for select users in a few countries. The company plans to expand globally soon. However, if users want to, they can opt out of the update entirely. Of course, as Facebook is wont to do, the platform will likely force users int the new update sooner or later.

With Instagram’s integration into Facebook Messenger, Facebook still has WhatsApp left to integrate into its ecosystem.

SEE ALSO: Messenger Rooms is Facebook’s group video chat app

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Apps

Google’s Hold for Me feature will kill annoying delivery jingles

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If you were like us during this tempestuous lockdown season, you love (and still love) getting stuff delivered, whether it’s food or something new for the house. Unfortunately, despite our love for new things, one thing we still hate is an unending delivery hotline call. Yes, we mean those annoying-but-needlessly-catchy marketing jingles. (In fact, Sarah Geronimo’s Jollibee jingle is still ringing in my ears as I write this.)

Finally, Google has a solution for this work-from-home nightmare. Announced earlier today, the company is introducing a new functionality for calls on hold. The new Hold for Me feature will place Google Assistant in line for you whenever a hotline places you on hold. You don’t need to listen through 40 loops of hold music anymore.

Using Google’s Duplex AI, the Hold for Me feature will alert you — through a sound, a vibration, or a notification — when the call is ready for you. According to Google, Duplex technology can accurately detect if the hotline finally responds with either a recorded message or a human representative. Despite the need for AI processing, Google assures users that the company isn’t storing call data. All call data will remain inside the phone.

The feature is launching inside Google’s Phone app. Users can toggle the feature on or off through the Settings and activate it manually during calls.

For now, Google is launching the feature through an early preview in the new Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G. Both smartphones will launch sometime in October and November.

SEE ALSO: Google is officially launching Android 11 today

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Gaming

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered has a new Peter Parker

New face, new graphics, same Amazing story

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There’s been a lot of discussion about how confusing it is to get Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered for PlayStation 5. In a PlayStation blog, Insomniac Games — the studio responsible for the 2018 hit — kind of explains what exactly is going on.

First of all, Peter Parker has a new face. This will likely be one of the most noticeable changes on the Remastered version. Good ol’ Peter will now be played by Ben Jordan instead of John Bubniak. Insomniac says they did so “to get a better match to Peter Parker/Spider-Man actor (voice actor) Yuri Lowenthal’s facial capture.

Here’s a clip to see how the new face looks in the Remastered game.

What do you think? Gotta admit it feels jarring at first, but Spider-Man fans should be pretty used to it. After all, we did get three live-action Peters in the last two decades. Not to mention the infamous Clone Saga in the comic books that gave us multiple faces under the Spider-Man mask.

Better looking game

Naturally, that’s not the only new thing on Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered. To take advantage of the PS5’s power the entire New York City environment had to look better.

Other than improved models and materials, the game will now also have ray-traced reflections and ambient shadows. Just take a look at this.

There’s now also a Performance Mode where players can be like Spidey on a 60fps frame rate. Here’s what that looks like.

Near-instant loading is now also a thing. But Insomniac says you can still turn on the fast-travel train scenes should you wish to do so. There will also be new photo mode features that were added for Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. One example is you can now place lights in the environment and change Spidey’s suit after composing your shot.

Speaking of new suits, the Remaster will give us three new Spidey suits. The first of which is the Amazing Suit. Yes, the one featured on the live-action The Amazing Spider-Man film starring Andrew Garfield.

But how do you get Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered?

It’s available as part of the Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition. That was the only thing that’s really clear. It’s available for US$ 69.99 and nets you the following: 3 skill points, Gravity Well Gadget, and The T.R.A.C.K. Suit.

In the US and Canada only, we have additional “launch” physical editions of the game for both Standard Launch Edition and Ultimate Launch Edition (Launch Edition includes a voucher*)! These copies are available in limited quantities only so don’t delay.

The launch edition includes a voucher for early unlocks of two suits, including the T.R.A.C.K. Suit by Marvel Artist Javiar Garrón, and a suit we’ll reveal closer to launch. You’ll also receive an early unlock of the Gravity Well Gadget, and three Skill Points to get a jump start on your progression.

For those buying digitally, or outside of the US/Canada, you also can receive those same early unlocks by ordering now.

Worried you won’t get the Standard Launch Edition? The Standard Edition of Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales will be available on both PS4 and PS5 for US$ 49.99.

The PS4 version of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales offers a free upgrade path to PS5 Standard Edition. If you purchase or upgrade to the PS5 Standard Edition, you can take advantage of a paid-upgrade offer from the in-game menu to download Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered.

It’s still not as straightforward as we would like, but I’m sure Insomniac hopes this clears things up a little bit.

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