AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Matti Vähäkainu

AfterDawn: News

This is the new OnePlus 5 with dual camera

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 20 Jun 2017 13:14

This is the new OnePlus 5 with dual camera The Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus has released a new flagship smartphone. Company that has grown hugely over the past couple of years brings the new iteration of OnePlus smartphone to the market.

This time around the phone seems to take a lot of hints from iPhone design as well as hardware but retains brings its own flavor to this new design. Featuring a double camera sensor in the back, curved antenna lines, and smooth rounded edges makes the phone look a lot similar to the iPhone 7 Plus but there are definitely differences.

The camera is said to be even better with not only more megapixels (20+16) but also with huge investments in terms of software. To showcase this OnePlus had a super popular model Emily Ratajkowski take six instagram pictures. The OnePlus 5 also features a 16 megapixel selfie shooter.

In terms of other specs there's nothing out of the ordinary. You have Snapdragon 835 which powers the likes of Galaxy S8, the trademark 5.5 inch Full HD Optic AMOLED display, fingerprint sensor in the home button, as well as huge amounts of RAM. Actually there are two versions, one with 6 gigs of RAM (and 64 gigs of storage) and one with massive 8 gigs of LPDDR4X RAM (and 128 gigs of storage).


AfterDawn: News

Clash of Clans developer releases yet another big title

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Jun 2017 17:51

Clash of Clans developer releases yet another big title Supercell, the Finnish mobile game developer has been a force to be reckoned with for years on the iOS and Android app charts, has come up with a new game.

Currently leading the top grossing apps chart on iOS with not one but two games, the Supercell's Clash universe has probably never been more popular than after major updates to both Clash of Clans as well as last year's Clash Royale.

However, the company has been developing a new title that is almost ready to hit the global app market. The new game is called Brawl Stars and pits players in a battle arena with brawlers in their controls. These collectible and upgradable brawlers have their own strengths, weaknesses, and specialities, as you might imagine.

There are different modes, four to be exact, of combat but all of them put brawlers against each other. For example Smash & Grab is a 3v3 arena where each player controls one brawler. The winner is the team that collects fastest ten crystals that spawn in the center of the map and keep them for a period of time.

Supercell clearly has designed the game e-sport aspect in mind, and to showcase that the soft launch was done after a YouTube tournament between popular YouTubers, such as Chief Pat.


AfterDawn: News

Amazon buys Whole Foods, invests $14 billion into groceries

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Jun 2017 17:24

Amazon buys Whole Foods, invests $14 billion into groceries You remember that amazing video Amazon released when announcing their new product Amazon Go? People just walking in and out of a grocery store without having to stop at the register or even scan the items. Well, it seems that Amazon is getting more serious than just installing a few Go stores.

The company lead by Jeff Bezos has now buying Whole Foods, America's leading natural foods grocery store. The supermarket chain is known for its organic and natural foods, as well as products that avoid artificial preservatives and additives.

As you know organic food is not cheap, and Bezos had to shell out nearly 14 billion dollars for this shopping spree. Whole Foods has a total of 410 stores around the country.

As soon as the regulatory officials approve the deal, Amazon will pay $42 per share in an all-cash acquisition totaling $13.7 billion. The transaction is said to close before the year ends.

In addition to Amazon Go stores the online shopping giant is offering everyday grocery store items via its Prime Pantry.

It wouldn't be a surprise if Amazon tries to incorporate some Whole Foods products and services into its seemingly all-encompassing Prime umbrella. However, at this point the companies didn't reveal what they have in mind.

AfterDawn: News

Atari CEO confirms: New gaming console in development

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Jun 2017 17:05

Atari CEO confirms: New gaming console in development Atari surprised the gaming crowd at E3 by releasing a teaser trailer for something called Ataribox. What exactly was it supposed to tease about, no one really knew.

However, it certainly is a real product, and the CEO of Atari has come public to confirm that. The video showed close up shots of what seemed like a retro console with wood paneling, quite like the legendary Atari 2600 itself.

Atari CEO Fred Chesnais indeed confirms that the company is developing a new gaming device but details are otherwise scarce. He does say that it is a PC based gaming system, though, albeit not a surprise.

Even though we did see a sneak peek into that beautiful oak paneling – or whatever material it supposedly is – the device itself is not even close to being finished. The final design or features haven't been decided yet so it is no surprise that there aren't many details.

We'll just have to wait and see when Atari is ready to wow us like they did in 1977, right?

AfterDawn: News

Spotify gaining more momentum, Apple Music falls further behind

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Jun 2017 10:45

Spotify gaining more momentum, Apple Music falls further behind Spotify has been killing it for years. After a rough start for a couple of years not being able to gain the trust of the big record companies, especially in the US, it started to gain traction to never look back.

Now in 2017, however, Spotify has been challenged by perhaps the toughest player on the field. Apple came swinging with the new Apple Music streaming service roughly two years ago and has been investing heavily to grab some of Spotify's customers and maybe even overtake it.

After hitting 20 million subscribers last December, and 27 million this June, Apple Music has been indeed gaining customers. However, it is nowhere near Spotify and the gap is only widening.

Spotify has revealed that it is now serving music every month to over 140 million users, including the free tier. Unfortunately it doesn't tell us what part of the 140 million is paid Premium customers but from previous numbers we know that it is growing faster than Apple Music.

Just months after Apple hit 20 Spotify was celebrating the 50 million Premium subscribers. A year ago Spotify revealed it had 100 million total subscribers.


AfterDawn: News

Here are all the important Nintendo releases from E3, with trailers

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 15 Jun 2017 11:18

Here are all the important Nintendo releases from E3, with trailers The world's leading video game conference E3, or Electronic Entertainment Expo, is currently going on in Los Angeles but we've already witnessed some of this years most important news. Amongst those was obviously Nintendo's press conference where it announced tons of new stuff especially for the new Switch console.

Let's take a look what they had to offer.

As said Nintendo focused on the new Switch console which can be used as a home console as well as a portable handheld console. Perhaps the most important of the releases was just a teaser. The company announced that it is working on a new Metroid title. Metroid Prime 4 will be available on Switch only but it is currently not known when this will happen.

Actually Nintendo announced two new Metroid games. The other one is called Metroid: Samus Returns which is a remake of an classic for 3DS.

Switch will get a tons of games, some of which are shown in the trailers below, later this year. These include a platformers Yoshi as well as Kirby 2 which lets you play co-op. Nintendo also announced the DLC for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a new Pokémon game, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and Fire Emblem Warriors, all for Switch.


AfterDawn: News

What? The legendary Atari is making a comeback? Watch the teaser

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 15 Jun 2017 11:02

What? The legendary Atari is making a comeback? Watch the teaser You might have to be born in the 80s to remember the computer brand but nonetheless one of the more legendary computer and video game companies that have existed on the planet might be coming back.

Even if you haven't ever played on a Atari system or a a game made by the company – although surely you've played Pong – you probably have seen a nostalgic gamer wearing a shirt with the logo. The company has quite a cult following within old school community and thus it is welcomed with much hype when a new Ataribox website was launched teasing a new product.

What is Ataribox exactly? Well, that is the one thing we do not know. The teaser only shows what seem to be close ups of what is the Ataribox. According to them it might be a replica of the Atari 2600 which is the source of the cult following. Some of the details look like they are from the epic wood paneling on the Atari 2600.

One possibility is definitely that it'll be a similar project as the recent NES Classic which stuffed Nintendo's classic games in a mini NES replica. In that case expect to play games like Blasteroids, Paperboy, Gauntlet, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Rampart, and Marble Madness.


AfterDawn: News

Firefox got faster, important tech mimics Chrome's

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 15 Jun 2017 10:37

Firefox got faster, important tech mimics Chrome's Not long time ago Firefox was amongst the leading web browsers in the world. The software developed by Mozilla has however fallen quite far in usage and the reason is likely a rather underdeveloped technology.

Now Mozilla has announced a new version of Firefox that should bring the once great browser back with updated technology and improved speed. Newly released Firefox 54 uses a new Electrolysis technology that has been under development for a long while.

Electrolysis mimics a technology that made Google's Chrome browser pretty much an overnight success. It allows the browser tabs or processes to perform separately. One of the advantages of this technology is that when a website crashes your browser or slows it down you can regain control by killing that individual process.

Mozilla already brought the technology to Firefox platform last year but it was a half baked version. Now it should work on the browser as intended and is fully functional. You should expect more responsive UI and smoother performance.

You can download Firefox 54 here

AfterDawn: News

Apple revamps App Store with new layout and navigation

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 06 Jun 2017 13:16

Apple revamps App Store with new layout and navigation Apple had a big day yesterday in San Jose, CA. The Cupertino Goliath announced a multitude of platform updates, device upgrades, and even some new products. One thing that might have not caught everyone's eye as much, but yet is something most Apple users will be very familiar with, is the revamped App Store.

Apple said the new App Store user interface will modify how people use the store and bring a new fresh look. Major changes to user experience means that there's a new style to the whole app which can be found from some of the company's other apps (including Apple Music) as well as their new website.

The new App Store is divided into three tabs: Today, Games, and Apps. The first category introduces the user to exclusive premieres, recommendations, and new apps. Games are now also separate from other apps, which will bring more focus to the largest and most popular app category. In addition to the three main tabs, the store has Updates and Search tabs.


AfterDawn: News

Apple updated the iPad Pro with a bigger and better ProMotion display

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 06 Jun 2017 11:55

Apple updated the iPad Pro with a bigger and better ProMotion display Apple CEO Tim Cook wasn't kidding when he said in the opening of the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) yesterday that there's a lot to talk about. Skipping the typical recap of the year in numbers, Apple employees went straight on to updates and new products.

The day was mostly filled with operating system updates but there was surprisingly many product launches as well. Usually Apple only refreshes their Mac line and maybe touches on some niche products, like the Apple TV or Apple Watch, during the WWDC.

This time around the audience consisting largely of developers – it is a developer conference after all – witnessed quite a few new devices. In addition to unveiling the new Mac Pro and even a completely new HomePod, the company unwrapped the new and improved iPad Pro.

The smaller iPad Pro has grown from a 9.7 incher to a bigger and better 10.5 inch display. The size however has now budged as the company has managed to squeeze the bezels to incorporate the bigger display that hosts a new technology called ProMotion.


AfterDawn: News

As expected, Apple releases HomePod to fight Amazon Echo

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 06 Jun 2017 8:56

As expected, Apple releases HomePod to fight Amazon Echo In yesterday's keynote speech Apple had a lot to talk about. All the operating systems got a new versions, Macs were updated, and even the Apple TV had some good news to share.

Even after this Apple managed to release a completely new product. Well, new to them. It is, of course, the anticipated HomePod.

For a while now it has been rumored that Apple was making a competitor to Amazon Echo, and the larger family of Alexa devices, and of course all the other voice assisted smart speakers. Obviously Apple thinks theirs is superior in every way, many of which might be true.

HomePod is a combination of seven speakers surrounding a subwoofer, and is controlled using voice only. Siri is listening with six microphones around the device. Apple claims that HomePod is smart enough to know its surroundings and optimize the music output to your living room, or whatever area it might be.


AfterDawn: News

Apple unveils iOS 11 with Metal 2, updated Siri, and more

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 05 Jun 2017 15:03

Apple unveils iOS 11 with Metal 2, updated Siri, and more Apple has today announced the new version of the company's most important operating system. The operating system running on all iPhones and iPads updates to version number 11 within the upcoming months.

The iOS 11 comes with changes to both underlying technologies as well as features seen on the surface of the platform experience.

Apple has updated the Messages with a new iCloud synchronization which allows a better multi-platform and multi-device sync with automatic updates to message threads. First time ever you'll also be able to use Apple Pay within Messages to transfer money to another iPhone user with just a simple P2P transfering "message".

Siri has been enhanced with loads of machine learning which you will both hear and see whether it is the improved Siri voices expressing themselves in more nuanced way or the more contextual information provided. Siri also now can translate to five different languages and the SiriKit allows better voice command integration in third-party apps.

As you might imagine, Photos has been updated as well. One of the more important upgrades to Photos is the support for HEVC codec which means that videos use now half the storage. In addition Apple has replaced the very traditional JPEG format with a new and more efficient HEIF, which should also decrease the size by 50%. This should not affect the picture quality thanks to new algorithms.


AfterDawn: News

Apple finally updated the Mac Pro, most powerful Mac ever

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 05 Jun 2017 14:13

Apple finally updated the Mac Pro, most powerful Mac ever Apple has finally, after years of pressure from professionals, answered the call to update their top-of-the-line Mac. The company unveiled a new Mac Pro, which this time around is a all-in-one computer.

The new Mac Pro is obviously the most powerful computer Apple has ever released and has more to offer than anything they've previously had. The base model includes a 5K Retina display, 8-core Xeon processor, Radeon Vega graphics, 32 GB ECC memory, a one terabyte SSD, and first time ever 10 Gb Ethernet connection. This starts at $4999.

You can upgrade the Mac Pro to up to 18 cores and Vega graphics up to 16GB of VRAM and 400GB per second of memory bandwidth. The ECC RAM goes up to 128 gigabytes and SSD can be upgraded to 4 TB. This obviously will cost, a lot.

The Mac Pro is an all-in-one product just like the iMacs but includes more I/O options, including four Thunderbolt 3 ports, and comes in a stealth-like dark silver color.

One piece of bad news for the people that have been waiting for this for years is that you'll have to wait a little bit more. Apple expect the new Mac Pro to ship in December.


AfterDawn: News

Apple updated macOS, here's High Sierra

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 05 Jun 2017 13:54

Apple updated macOS, here's High Sierra Apple has unveiled the next update to the oldest Apple OS currently on the market. The update to macOS is called High Sierra – cue puns, Federighni – and will bring updates to almost all aspects of the OS.

Major updates include Safari update which makes it, according to the company, the fastest browser on the planet. This means that depending on the benchmark you can expect as much as 80% faster performance than Google Chrome.

Another big update is heading to Photos app. The new app includes updated organization and editing tools, a new side bar, and filtering option. The filtering gives you a faster search based on keywords, favorites, and media type. The app also has an automatic face recognition.

High Sierra also brings the first time ever a native VR support. The Industrial Light & Magic team demoed the feature with HTC Vive and Star Wars content. The new macOS uses the new Metal 2 graphics platform to render high quality VR in 90 frames per second.

There are also updates to many apps, including the Mail app, as well as the underlying file system, which has been now updated to a faster and more modern APFS.

High Sierra is available right now to developers willing to try the beta. All beta tester will get the update later this month through the beta tester program and the final version will ship free for all Sierra compatible Macs later on this fall.

AfterDawn: News

Updates to Apple Watch, new watch faces and Siri expansion

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 05 Jun 2017 13:35

Updates to Apple Watch, new watch faces and Siri expansion Apple's keynote at the WWDC is currently ongoing but already the company has introduces the first major update to one of its many platforms. After a small update to Apple TV, Tim Cook passed the torch to Kevin Lynch to tell about Apple Watch.

Apple Watches get an update which is called watchOS 4. This update brings a variety of new watch faces, a major expansion to Siri capabilities, and updates to apps like Apple Music.

Siri now shows an information stream quite like Google Now on your Apple Watch. The new watch faces include kaleidoscope and Toy Story characters with fun animations.

The activity tracking has updated as well with more functionality and the Workout app has a brand new UI.

You get all this and more right now, that is if you update to Developer build. Or you could wait for the official release some time during fall.

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