News

Pixel 6 may ditch Snapdragon in favor of Google’s in-house chip

Google going the Apple way

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Google’s Pixel lineup has sported a Snapdragon-branded processor since its debut, and it’s a practice that’s followed by pretty much all phone makers globally. However, if a new report is believed, the Pixel 6 shall ditch the routine and instead house Google’s in-house chip.

According to a report by 9to5Google, Pixel 6 may run on Google’s own “GS101” Whitechapel SoC. The new silicon is developed with the help of Samsung and shall power Pixel phones and Chromebook laptops. Whitechapel is currently an internal codename for the processor, and its official name isn’t confirmed yet.

As per the report, Google CEO Sundar Pichai had teased deeper investments in hardware and promised a ‘terrific roadmap ahead’ for 2021 during an earnings call in October 2020.

The company’s increasing focus on hardware isn’t surprising since Apple has also started pivoting to custom silicon. The new M1 processor is speedy and makes the MacBook Air more efficient than ever. Most importantly, an in-house chip gives full access and control of the technology stack to the phone maker.

Everyone across the globe enjoys apple’s products because of their insanely intelligent hardware and software integration. In fact, software updates also become far easier to push when the phone maker has full access to the stack, which includes — operating system (Android), custom skin (launcher), hardware kernel, and drivers (backend programs that convert digital signals to machine language), and the hardware itself.

It’s worth mentioning that this isn’t Google’s first try with hardware chips. The Pixel Visual Core is a dedicated chip included in all Pixel phones since the Pixel 2 series. Its sole responsibility is to ensure better image processing capabilities, and it can compile HDR+ images 5 times faster than an application process. Furthermore, complex tasks like image adjustments and enhancements are handled by the chips AI while consuming barely any power.

Gaming

Zelda sequel Tears of the Kingdom has a release date

Priced at $70

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Barely more than a month into the new year, 2023 already looks like a phenomenal year for gamers. A lot of upcoming games are looking like exciting additions to everyone’s to-play list. Though we already knew the title is coming this year, Nintendo officially announced the release date of Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

After revealing a flurry of games, Nintendo capped off their recent Direct with the fresh trailer of the upcoming sequel to Breath of the Wild. As was showcased in previous teasers and trailers, Tears of the Kingdom is a much darker vision set in the same world as Breath of the Wild. Ganon (or what looks like a zombified version of the villain) is back to terrorize Hyrule. This time, however, the iconic villain has a voice!

Plus, Tears of the Kingdom adds a lot of verticality by introducing floating terrain and more aerial movement. While the world looks similar to Breath of the Wild, the sequel still has a lot to show players.

Finally, the trailer caps off with the release date. Tears of the Kingdom will launch on May 12. Preorders have already begun for the title. Additionally, dedicated fans can also get a Collector’s Edition which includes a SteelBook, a poster, an art book, and a pin set. The release also coincides with the launch of a new Amiibo to commemorate the launch.

Priced a bit higher, Tears of the Kingdom will sell for US$ 69.99.

SEE ALSO: Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel trailer breakdown

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Gaming

Nintendo adds Game Boy titles to Switch Online

And Game Boy Advance

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Nintendo Switch Online is the gift that keeps on giving. More than giving players the ability to play online, the subscription service also offers subscribers a gallery of classic games from bygone eras. The feature remains one of the most convenient ways to play old titles from the NES and the N64. Now, the service is adding Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles.

Announced during the most recent Direct, Nintendo has announced that several titles from the Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance are now playable through the subscription service. While all subscribers will have access to the Game Boy titles, Game Boy Advance titles will come only with Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscriptions.

The starting lineup of Game Boy titles include Tetris, the original Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX and Kirby’s Dream Land. Meanwhile, Game Boy Advance titles will include Super Mario Bros. 3, Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, and WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgame$. Games included will come with local and online multiplayer, if applicable.

Nintendo will continue to add more titles to the roster throughout the year. Since the Game Boy generation is one of the company’s biggest, expect a ton of announcements as the roster fills up. (We’re still holding out hope for the classic Pokémon games.)

SEE ALSO: Nintendo Switch is now third-bestselling console in history

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Apps

Twitter expands character limit to 4,000 characters

But not for everyone

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Despite the traditional limitations, the platform’s users have always found a way to express themselves beyond Twitter’s character limits. Whether broken through extensive threads or third-party sites, strict limitations don’t exist anymore. Now, Twitter is essentially getting rid of the character limit by introducing its biggest expansion to date.

Announced today, Twitter will allow users to post tweets with up to 4,000 characters. That’s a gigantic leap from the original 140-character limit and the expanded 280-character limit in 2017. But, of course, some good things come with a price.

Not everyone will have access to the new feature. Currently, only Twitter Blue subscribers in the United States can create tweets of up to 4,000 characters. Besides original tweets, subscribers can also quote tweet with the same expanded limit.

Thankfully, the new feature will not inundate everyone’s feeds with an ocean of text. Any tweets going beyond 280 characters will be cut off with a “show more” prompt.

Through the past few months, the platform has changed a few fundamental elements before Musk took over. Most importantly, Twitter Blue, the platform’s paid subscription service is now much more expansive. Among other things, subscribers now get the coveted blue checkmark attached to their profiles. Now, they also get a massive boost in capabilities when it comes to tweeting.

SEE ALSO: Twitter is teasing an ad-free subscription tier

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