News

Smartphone sales have dipped globally and Samsung should be worried

About time Samsung wakes up?

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The iPhone was released eleven years ago in 2007, back then Nokia and BlackBerry were the market leaders and shipped tens of millions of phones every year. Since then, Android OS has picked up a majority of the market and now we have dozens of smartphone makers trying to grab a piece of the pie.

Smartphone sales had been on a consistent rise in the last decade, but the trend has diminished and according to IDC, the industry has witnessed a six percent year-over-year drop in Q3 2018. The report estimates vendors shipped 355.2 million units from July to September.

What’s even more surprising is Samsung and Apple’s decline. The South Korean giant had a 13.4 percent drop in the total number of units shipped while Apple saw a rise of a meager 0.5 percent. Although, Samsung continues to be at the top with a market share of 20 percent, followed by Huawei at 14.6 percent.

While Samsung and Apple seem to have reached a saturation point, Huawei and Xiaomi have recorded a staggering growth of 32.9 percent and 21.2 percent, respectively. The two Chinese brands have been very aggressive this year with multiple product launches in developing markets of Asia.

IDC says Apple could edge out Samsung and Huawei for first place, thanks to its new iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. Samsung’s flagships seem to have under-performed and the company is struggling in the budget as well as midrange segments.

While Apple’s offerings are strictly in the premium range, Samsung has a wide portfolio and relies on all price segments to churn out a profit. These are just initial signs of trouble for the giant, and it needs to act fast. The brand has already lost considerable ground in important markets like India and has failed to get a foothold in China.

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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