News

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip expands the foldable category

Refined foldable

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We already got a good look at the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip thanks to the ad showing up at the Oscars. Now that it’s official, we finally get more details on Samsung’s new foldable.

Samsung is calling this the first device on the Z series. It’s not a direct successor to the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which kind of makes that device feel even more like a concept phone that the company decided to sell to be first to market.

A premium display

That said, the Z Flip looks to be more promising as Samsung is ditching the plastic screen on the Galaxy Fold for the Infinity Flex Display. It’s Samsung’s proprietary Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) display which promises to look and feel more premium and be more durable.

It foregoes the notch and instead opts for a centered in-display camera cutout for the selfie camera. No notch means no distractions on the 6.7” screen with a 21.9:9 aspect ratio. A curious ratio choice, but perhaps one that fits the Z Flip’s design.

Purposeful folding

While the Galaxy Fold was a foldable for the sake of being a foldable, the Galaxy Z Flip’s approach appears more practical.

To achieve the folding action, Samsung developed what it calls the Hideaway Hinge. It ensures a stable way for the device to flip and fold. It can stay open at a range of angles much like a laptop screen which invites several possibilities.

The primary possibility being how the Galaxy Z Flip can practically stand on its own, giving you a camera that you can prop up nearly anywhere and will let you take timed camera shots. Now you really won’t have to rely on another person to get your photo or even video taken when you’re traveling alone.

Close the Galaxy Z Flip and you can still take photos using the main camera for high quality selfies. Additionally, it can also shoot 4K video and Night Hyperlapse, among others.

Software designed for flipping and folding

Working closely with Google, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip has what it calls the Flex Mode. It’s essentially a version of Google with ONE UI that adapts to the device’s form factor.

When the device is free-standing, it automatically switches into two 4-inch screens. You can view photos, video, and other content on the top half and navigate, search, or comment on the bottom.

In this position, you gain access to the Multi-Active Window. Open the Multi-Window tray to drag and drop apps you want to use. There will probably only be limited app support at this time but expect this to grow as devices in the foldable category increase in number.

When opened, it’ll function like any normal smartphone. Close it and you can still check the date, time and battery status on the cover display.

Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip will be available in limited quantities in Mirror Purple and Mirror Black, starting February 21, 2020 and will retail for US$ 1380.

Gaming

God of War Ragnarok is Sony’s best-selling exclusive

Based only on its first week

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November is a great month for gamers. Because of a few major titles coming out, there are a lot of ways to scratch that gaming itch. A lot of players are happy. None more so than Sony right now. Only a few weeks since its release, God of War Ragnarok has broken Sony’s record for fastest-selling first-party title launch.

Officially confirmed by Sony through its Twitter account, God of War Ragnarok has sold 5.1 million copies only through its first week. With such an impressive showing, the title rushes past Sony’s acclaimed gallery of heavy hitters like Marvel’s Spider-Man, The Last of Us Part II, and even the title’s 2018 predecessor. That’s not a list of who’s who to shrug off.

Additionally, the sequel is now the best-selling title in its franchise. The series has come a long way since its roots in Greek mythology. Mere weeks since the release, it is already in the conversation for several Game of the Year awards alongside other heavy hitters like Elden Ring.

Not without reason, of course. From our review of the title, the sequel to 2018’s classic is a narrative masterpiece in its own right, deserving of its spot in the oeuvre of Sony’s greatest hits.

SEE ALSO: God of War Ragnarok Review

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Netflix is working on its first PC game

It’s a AAA title

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Though off to a relatively slow start, Netflix is now a gaming company as well. As of late, the platform included a variety of mobile games in its catalog of content. Every Netflix subscriber can play any of the games. Now, Netflix is working on something else entirely: a game for the PC.

Spotted by Mobilegamer.biz, Netflix has recently posted new job openings for a game director, an art director, and a technical director. All three listings describe a “brand-new AAA PC game” as a project. One listing even describes “one of Netflix’s first generation of internally developed original games.”

Currently, Netflix taps into other game studios to produce titles for them. Aside from a few independent developers, the platform even partnered with Ubisoft for mobile titles. (One of which will be based on the Assassin’s Creed franchise.)

With the listings in place, the company is expanding its efforts to developing its own titles. Right now, the unnamed project doesn’t feature a lot of details. While the project is still looking for a creative director, it’s likely that the plot isn’t finalized either.

Throughout the past year, the company has bled for subscribers. Since then, they have tried various strategies, including potential punishments for account sharing and cheaper subscription tiers.

SEE ALSO: Netflix will now let you kick people from your account

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Apps

TikTok is now under investigation by the European Union

For transferring data to China

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TikTok has now found its way under the microscope of the European Union. The collective is now investigating the platform for allegedly shipping off its citizens’ data to Chinese servers.

In a letter shared by FCC commissioner Brendan Carr (via Engadget), the current president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has confirmed ongoing investigations concerning TikTok in several countries in the European Union.

For one, Ireland is currently investigating how the platform transfers data to China and how it processes the data of minors. The Netherlands is also investigating the same data transfers and TikTok’s advertising towards minors.

For a while now, the European Union has persistently investigated various tech companies to review their compliance with the continent’s General Data Protection Regulation, which presents a stricter view on data privacy. Various companies have already found themselves on the receiving end of penalties brought down by EU courts.

An investigation on TikTok has been a long time coming. For years, the United States has doggedly hounded TikTok for the same violation of shipping user data to Chinese servers. The company continues to face threats of a ban on foreign soil.

Though an investigation in Europe is just another fight the company must face, it’s nothing to shrug off. Lately, the European Union’s ruling on charging standards is forcing Apple to finally ship their devices with USB-C, instead of the proprietary Lightning cable. The Union, especially when completely united across all the included countries, can very well make an impact on the tech industry.

SEE ALSO: TikTok, Tencent linked to sexually violent ads on Facebook

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