Pokemon Sword & Pokemon Shield Announced For Nintendo Switch 

 

On the heels of the last Nintendo Direct, which aired February 11th, Nintendo and the Pokemon company aired their highly anticipated Pokemon Direct this morning. During a seven-minute presentation the Pokemon company revealed the eighth generation in the Pokemon series. The new games are titled Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield respectively. 

Pokemon Sword and Shield will usher in a new era of Pokemon as the games will now be developed for home console quality systems instead of strictly handhelds. The handheld experience thankfully isn’t lost as the Nintendo Switch is a hybrid console that is able to be played in a handheld mode or docked to the television. 

Given the massive power gap between the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo Switch, naturally, the Pokemon games from now on will feature more impressive graphics and a more ambitious scope in terms of gameplay and presentation. 

During the Pokemon, Direct viewers were treated to a trailer that featured actual gameplay of the upcoming games, and frankly, the series has never looked better. The amount of polish and attention to detail easily surpasses that of the Pokemon “Let’s Go” games that debuted on the platform last fall. 

Though the graphical presentation of the games seems significantly overhauled, the game’s core mechanics seem to be still intact. Turn-based battles and random encounters seem to still be present despite the growing frustration among a segment of the Pokemon fanbase who want to the games to move beyond incremental changes between installments. The Pokemon Company is notorious for keeping secrets and surprising its fans. What fans saw today was only a taste of what’s to come and that should all keep us excited until the game’s release in Late 2019. 

Samsung Announces Four Versions of Galaxy S10

 

During Samsung’s “Unpacked” event this morning, the company officially announced 5 new phones. This first to be announced was the radically designed Galaxy Fold (https://iphonetennismatch.com/2019/02/20/samsung-unveils-insanely-expensive-galaxy-fold/).

Samsung then announced their newest model or should I say, models of their flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S10. Due to numerous leaks and pure speculation most people expected the Galaxy S10 to be announced today. Most people, however, didn’t expect so many variations of the Galaxy S10 to be available.

The Galaxy S10 & S10 Plus

Though its design isn’t as radical as the Galaxy Fold, the S10 boasts a new design as well. The Galaxy S10 is the first of Samsungs phones to feature its “Infinity-O” display. The Infinity-O display is Samsungs answer to having a full display on the front of the phone. Instead of Apple’s “notch” the Galaxy S10 will have a cutout in the display that has been precisely cut by a laser to accommodate the front-facing camera. 

S10 Screen size: 6.1 inches

S10 Plus Screen Size 6.4 inches

The Base version of the Galaxy S10 will have a perfectly circular cutout for its front-facing camera. This is because there will only be one camera on the front of the device. This is in contrast to the Galaxy S10 Plus, which will have a more pill-pill-shaped cutout to accommodate two front-facing cameras. The two cameras on the front of the S10 Plus should make it possible for users to take portrait photos that exaggerate the depth of field.

On the rear of the Galaxy S10 & 10 Plus, both phones are identical in the camera department. Both phones are equipped with a triple lens camera set up. Each phone has a 16 MP wide-angle lens, a basic 12MP lens, and a telephoto lens with an optical zoom of x2.

What you will no longer find on the rear of the S10 & S10 Plus is a fingerprint scanner. The fingerprint scanner has finally found its way onto the front of the device. Only this time it isn’t a physical button, but it is seamlessly embedded into the display itself. Samsung uses ultrasonic technology to map a 3-D model of your fingerprint while it rests on the screen. 

The Galaxy S10 & 10 Plus can be configured with up to 12 GB of RAM and a TB of onboard storage with a micro SD slot for even more storage. 

One of the most innovative additions to the Galaxy line up is the addition of the “Wireless Power Share” feature. This feature functionally turns the back of the Galaxy S10 into a wireless charger. The charger uses the QI standard which means in theory this feature could be used to wirelessly charge an iPhone that supports wireless charging. Though that would probably be jarring, Samsung probably expects its users to use this feature to charge the various branded accessories they also announced today. Some of these accessories include the Galaxy Buds which have a charging case that supports wireless charging, and Samsung’s pair of new smart and fitness watches, the Galaxy Watch Active, and the Galaxy Fit.

The Galaxy S10e

Samsung also revealed the Galaxy S10e, which is an entry-level version of their latest flagship phones. These phones are meant to compete directly with Apple’s iPhone XR. Unlike the XR and the S10, the S10e has a dual camera set up on the rear which is a step up from Apple’s offering but a camera shy of its bigger brothers. The S10e also losses support for the new Wireless Power Share feature. The Galaxy S10e will, fortunately, come at a more affordable price than its bigger brothers as well.

Pricing for the S10(s)

 S10e will cost you $749 *Starting 

S10 will cost you $899 *Starting 

S10 Plus will cost you $999 *Starting 

These prices are $100 cheaper than what Apple is asking for its starting prices, except for the 10e. Samsung is clearly trying to undercut Apple by offering cheaper flagship phones. This pricing quickly changes as buying a full loaded 1TB 12GB RAM S10 Plus will cost you $1600, more than Apple’s fully loaded iPhone XS MAX.

5G is Here 

As for the fourth version of the Galaxy S10, Samsung gave us a taste of the Galaxy S10 5G. 

The 5G as the name implies will support the upcoming 5G cellular connectivity, which is rumored to be a significant improvement over 4G LTE. Also, the S10 5G would be even bigger than the S10 Plus. It is going to feature a screen size of 6.7 inches, and a 3D sensing camera on the rear for advanced AR capabilities. No release date was given for this phone.

Release dates were however given for the other S10 models. Pre-orders will go live on February 21st, and devices will ship on March 8th. 

Samsung clearly wants to lead the pack in the smartphone market and with its current lineup, it seems to certainly have the momentum. 

Samsung Unveils Insanely Expensive Galaxy Fold 

During today’s “Unpacked” event, Samsung debuted its new foldable smartphone. This phone is called the Galaxy Fold and it is packed incredible technology, and unfortunately for our wallets, it all comes at a hefty price. Before revealing the price for the Galaxy Fold, Samsung braced us by framing its new phone as a “Luxury” device. To own a Galaxy Fold you are going to have to find it in your budget to part with a cool $1980.

With a price nearing 2k, you and everyone else is asking what makes this phone so expensive. Samsung is offering its new “Infinity Flex Display” which is a foldable OLED display. As this technology is new and cutting edge, Samsung is asking top dollar from early adopter hopefuls. 

Its new OLED screen is 7.3 inches in diameter, putting it in a class among smaller tablets in the screen size department. The phone unfolds or opens like a book, and sports a 4.6-inch screen on the front of the device. This screen can be used while the device is closed. Due to a featured called App continuity, one can view a web page or app on the smaller screen, then continue viewing their content on the larger 7-inch screen by simply opening the phone. 

The Galaxy Fold isn’t a slouch in the specs department. It features a 7-nanometer processor and sports an unnecessary 12 GB of RAM  and 512 GB of storage. This phone is also fitted with 6 cameras in total. It has a triple lens setup on the back, a dual lens sensor in the middle when opened, and a single lens camera for quick selfies on the front. 

As I said this device is jam-packed with new technology and a newer form factor. I personally just wonder if twenty bucks shy of $2000 is too egregious for a smartphone no matter what it does or how it looks. Only time will tell how this phone performs. 

Privacy Killing FaceTime Bug Has Now Been Squashed By Apple in New Update

 

Apple has finally released iOS 12.1.4. This update should have been introduced with little coverage as it adds no significant new features. However, iPhone users are heavily encouraged to install this update because it fixes the infamous FaceTime security bug.  If you missed the media frenzy you can read our coverage of the security flaw Here (https://iphonetennismatch.com/2019/01/29/facetime-bug-allows-unsuspecting-users-to-be-spied-on/)

Apple released a statement last week apologizing for the bug and vowed to swiftly address the issue “ We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple’s servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week. We thank the Thompson family for reporting the bug. We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete this process. We want to assure our customers that as soon as our engineering team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug, they quickly disabled Group FaceTime and began work on the fix. We are committed to improving the process by which we receive and escalate these reports, in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible. We take the security of our products extremely seriously and we are committed to continuing to earn the trust Apple customers place in us.”

Thankfully iOS 12.2 is on the way and it actually brings some new features to iOS devices. Stay tuned for future updates on iOS, iPhone, and all other things tech!

iOS 12.2 Beta Brings Some Wild New Animoji 

 

Photo by Apple

Apple is pushing its iOS software forward with a Beta release of iOS 12.2. This version of iOS will bring fun new animals to Apple’s “Animoji” feature for iOS devices. If you are unfamiliar with Animoji, as its name implies it is simply animal (and one robot) emoji that you can control with your face. Due to Apple’s implementation of a 3D sensing and depth camera on the front of iPhones and the new iPad Pro your face can be tracked, mapped, and mirrored onto the face of various Animoji. Currently, Animoji features a monkey, a cat, a dog, a fox, a pig, a panda, a rabbit, a chicken, a lion, a bear, a tiger, a koala, and a T-rex. It also has some mythical creatures such as the alien, a unicorn, a dragon, and a ghost. The three odd-ball Animoji include a robot, a human skull, and the poop emoji…. So yeah

With iOS 12.2 Apple is adding to this already exhausting list by including a giraffe, a shark, a warthog, and an owl. We aren’t sure who at Apple is deciding on these animals but they sure are cute, and more practical than a talking pile of poop.