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SanDisk’s 1TB microSD card is now available

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The definitive storage upgrade will cost you $449

SanDisk’s 1TB Extreme microSD card is the biggest capacity that it’s ever sold, and you can buy one… for $449.99.

As for where you can buy it right now, it’s available on SanDisk’s storeB&H Photo is also accepting orders for the memory card. Amazon has a product listing, though it’s currently unavailable in the US. You can purchase it through Amazon if you live in SpainGermany, or the UK. Per Tom’s Guide, though, depending on where you live, deliveries have been delayed up to three months at the time of writing.

SanDisk’s Extreme lineup of microSD cards advertise 160MB/s read and 90MB/s write speeds, and its new high-capacity card follows suit. As such, it’s the better choice over SanDisk’s Ultra microSD card if you capture a lot of 4K video. File transfers and load times should be a little quicker, too. If you’re interested in getting one of these 1TB microSD cards, you should make sure that your device is compatible. Nintendo’s FAQ doesn’t put a cap on on card sizes accepted by the Switch, though Amazon’s Fire tablets top off at 256GB of microSD storage.

Owning the first-ever 1TB microSD card seems cool. But if that distinction isn’t as important to you as saving money is, there are a few smaller options that are at their best prices yet. Samsung’s 512GB microSD card costs $99.99 at Amazon. Alternatively, SanDisk’s Ultra 400GB microSD card is down to $56.99.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/15/18626729/sandisks-1tb-microsd-card-available-b-h-photo-amazon-price

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Samsung harps on picture quality, smart apps in new OLED TV

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Samsung Electronics at the weekend said picture quality and smart applications are supposed to be the hallmarks of new generation television technology, the OLED brands. Samsung The company said this was the result of long years of research which it carries out before releasing latest brands. These two qualities, according to the company are majorly what differentiates its new line of OLED TVs from competition. Announcing the debut of the brands recently in Lagos, Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung Central Africa, Dudu Mokholo, said the 2019 OLED brands are powered by Samsung’s proprietary Quantum Processor, . “The line-up features more screen size options, stunning picture quality enhancements, dazzling colours from every angle, exciting new design elements and intuitive smart TV upgrades. As part of this special launch, those who purchase a 2019 QLED TV between July and August 2019will receive a Samsung UHD or FHD TV for free. “Our 2019 QLED line is designed for users who want the best combination of picture quality, smart TV capabilities and design. This year’s line-up represents our largest screen size offering ever. It brings together innovative feature enhancements and exciting content and service partnerships to deliver a truly ground-breaking viewing experience and unprecedented value. “The 2019 Q80 feature ‘Ultra Viewing Angle’ technology, which restructures the TV’s panels so the backlight passes through the panel with lights evenly onto the screen. Engineered to reduce glare and enhance colour, Ultra Viewing Angle provides a vibrant picture regardless of where you’re sitting. In addition, Q80, and Q900 models offer Direct Full Array technology that uses a panel featuring concentrated zones of precision-controlled LEDs. These LEDs adjust automatically to display deeper blacks and purer whites, delivering stunning images with pristine contrast. “Q900 Series 8K TVs incorporate Samsung’s proprietary Quantum Processor 8K, which up-scales lower resolution content. Depending on the content,it can allow for playback close to crystal clear 8K resolution. This year’s models also utilise the Quantum Processor 8K that optimises audio and video to the specific content on the screen. It can create an even more detailed sound experience by tailoring the audio settings to the specific layout of the room. Samsung’s new QLED 4K models also feature their own proprietary Quantum Processor 4K, which can use AI upscaling to deliver improved brightness, picture quality and sound optimised for each scene” he added. Samsung’s2019 QLED range has unique user experience by offering iTunes Movies and TV Shows and Apple AirPlay 2 support.

Source: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2019/07/samsung-harps-on-picture-quality-smart-apps-in-new-oled-tv/

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What Apple’s products could look like without Jony Ive leading design

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It’ll truly be the end of an era when Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive walks out of the massive sliding glass doors of Apple Park to design things at his new company, LoveFrom.

Ive and his team of close-knit industrial designers have blessed the world with many iconic products, including the iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch over the last 20 years. 

These are all devices that have changed the world. But in some ways, Ive’s obsession with stripping everything down to its purest form has also been the source of much frustration for users. Instead of products that provide the best form and function, in recent years, Apple products have felt too compromised.

Though many will view Ive’s departure from Apple as a turn for the worse — “The genius of Steve Jobs and Ive will never be matched; Apple is doomed!” — I see his leave as an opportunity for the company to embrace a new chapter of more sensible devices. Devices that are familiar, but better suit the many different kinds of users that have helped grow Apple into one of the most valuable companies in the world.

It’s unlikely Apple without Ive will vomit a dizzying lineup of new devices the same way the company did in the late ’80s to early ’90s under former CEO John Sculley. And I don’t expect Ive’s influence to suddenly disappear overnight. 

However, I strongly feel Apple’s industrial designers are at inflection point where they can step out of Ive’s shadow and improve on existing products by breaking with some of the principles he was so unrelenting on.

Next-gen iPhone

A thicker iPhone with a flush camera sure would be nice.
A thicker iPhone with a flush camera sure would be nice.

A decade since the iPhone’s introduction, Apple’s most revolutionary product now faces fierce assault from every direction. The iPhone no longer has one main rival (Samsung), but myriad competition, especially from China (Huawei, Xiaomi, OnePlusOppo, etc.) 

iPhone sales flatlined as prices became too high, hardware became more than good enough to last beyond two years, and Android phone alternatives have introduced irresistible mobile innovations such as notch- and hole-free displaysin-display fingerprint readers, and cameras capable of shooting ultra-wide photos and stunning night shots.

In comparison, the iPhone — as fantastic as the iPhone XR and XS/XS Max are — feel like they’re falling behind. This year’s new iPhones are expected to keep the same designs but add an ultra-wide camera inside of a big protruding bump.

New software and services, faster performance, and improved cameras are all great features, but consumers want more visible change for the iPhone.

Under Ive, the iPhone went on a diet until it became arguably too thin with the iPhone 6, which culminated in bendgate. Slowly, but surely, the iPhone has thickened with each new model going from the iPhone 6’s 6.9mm profile to 8.3mm on the iPhone XR.

I can’t speak for everyone, but anecdotally, I see more people with iPhone XRs than iPhone XS or XS Max. Not to mention almost everyone puts their iPhones in cases or carries battery packs or cases. This suggests to me people might not mind a thicker phone if the tradeoff’s for, say, a bigger battery or a camera that doesn’t jut out. It would be smart for Apple’s industrial team to take these use cases into consideration for any future iPhones.

“Consumers want more visible change for the iPhone.”

We’ve been hearing for years that the iPhone might switch to USB-C. It hasn’t happened under Ive’s watch. USB-C would mean one less proprietary cable to carry around. While it seems unlikely Apple would sever the healthy revenue it collects from third-party companies that license its Lightning tech, a thicker iPhone — even a millimeter or two — would allow physical room for USB-C to fit. USB-C would also endow the iPhone with iPad Pro-like functionality, like the ability to connect to monitors and USB-C flash drives.

A new smaller iPhone with a notch-free display and in-display Touch ID fingerprint reader could also compete with Android phones with the same features. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimsa 5.4-inch iPhone is reportedly slated for 2020 and a Credit Suisse analyst says Apple’s working on an in-display fingerprint reader, despite insisting Face ID is the better and more natural biometric system for iPhones.

I’d also love a design refresh that mirrors the iPad Pro’s straight edges and throws it back to the boxier iPhone 5/5S/SE days.

Future MacBooks and iMacs

Kill the Touch Bar, add a touchscreen, and bring back a memory card slot, please!
Kill the Touch Bar, add a touchscreen, and bring back a memory card slot, please!

I’ve outlined before what the death of the 12-inch MacBook could mean for future Apple laptops. Namely, this is Apple’s chance to kill its almost controversial “butterfly keyboard” and switch back to scissor-style keys with more travel. Similarly, Apple can dump the Touch Bar and bring back the row of function keys while still keeping Touch ID inside of the power button like on the MacBook Air

Like the iPhone, I wouldn’t mind if Apple made the MacBook Air and Pro marginally thicker and heavier to add in a touchscreen (gorilla arm is such a myth), higher-resolution webcam with Face ID, a memory card slot, and MagSafe. These features would put MacBooks more on par with Windows-powered alternatives such as the excellent Surface Laptop 2 and Google Pixelbook.

And while Apple’s at it making MacBooks a few hairs thicker, why not make internal components like the storage, RAM, and battery user-replaceable again? Soldering the SSD and RAM is good for making thin machines, but terrible for upgrades, repairs, and adds to e-waste.

The iMac deserves a makeover. It's been seven years since the last redesign.
The iMac deserves a makeover. It’s been seven years since the last redesign.

iMacs could also use a post-Ive revamp beyond a space gray colorway; the current design’s gone virtually unchanged since 2012. As a desktop — a computer that doesn’t move around much (if ever) — Apple has a lot more room to be bolder.

Who is the iMac for? What do people want it to do that it can’t? I imagine creatives would love an iMac that borrows from Microsoft’s Surface Studio 2 and has drafting table-like capabilities. A touchscreen with multi-touch and Apple Pencil support using a tilting stand would be neat. 

Design-wise, I’d love a Retina display that reaches closer to the edges with slimmer bezels like on the upcoming Pro Display XDR and does away with the iMac’s “chin.”

Face ID login, a new Magic Mouse that corrects this horrendous can’t-use-while-charging design, and user-swappable storage and RAM, or even a screen that rotates vertically like the Pro Display XDR would reimagine the iMac as a formidable modern all-in-one computer.

Apple Watch, Apple TV, HomePod, and beyond

There’s not much that needs improving for the Apple Watch. A camera underneath the display like the one Oppo showed off in a phone for FaceTime calls would be killer.

The Apple TV could become the game console it’s always been meant to be with its own Apple-designed gamepad; it makes even more sense with the launch of Apple Arcade this fall. The Apple TV’s Siri Remote could also use tweaking — small changes so that it’s easier to know which side is up or down.

It’s hard to say how Apple could turn around the HomePod’s misfortunes. Maybe a smaller and cheaper version or one with a screen like the Google Nest Hub

The sky really is the limit for the industrial design team Ive leaves behind. I’m not saying they should run wild and pull a Samsung with future iPhones or MacBooks that use unproven technologies like foldable screens or even release the rumored AR glasses. But bumping utility — real practical needs — higher up on the priority list could help ring in a new Apple era that’s less tone deaf.

Source: https://mashable.com/article/apple-product-redesign-jony-ive/

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For World Emoji Day, the Unicode Consortium redesigns its site to be more user-friendly

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Ahead of World Emoji Day on Wednesday, July 17, Apple and Google announced plans to bring an expanded set of emoji to their respective platforms. Today, the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit organization responsible for determining which emoji get the green light, is relaunching its website with an updated, modern design that aims to make its information more accessible to the general public.

Before, its website design was very basic — just text and links to various pages about the Consortium itself, the standard, miscellaneous FAQs, projects in progress and other information. It looked like a technical resource, and certainly one that hadn’t been updated in years.

With an outdated layout, ancient social share buttons and boring font choices, it really looked more like an ancient government website than a resource designed for public consumption.

Screen Shot 2019 07 17 at 2.05.49 PM

Above: the old site 

That changes with the redesign. Not only is the site more mainstream-friendly, it more actively encourages participation and involvement from the public.

Unicode  is a global technology standard that is one of the core building blocks of the internet,” said Unicode board member Greg Welch in an announcementabout the changes to the site. “Unicode has helped facilitate the work of programmers and linguists from around the world since the 1990s. But with the rise of mobile devices and public enthusiasm for emoji, we knew it was time to redesign the Unicode website to make information more easily accessible, and increase community involvement,” he says.

Screen Shot 2019 07 17 at 2.08.25 PM

Above: the Emoji section on the new site

Although the Consortium itself is focused more broadly on developing text standards, their work with emoji now gets the most attention. Today, emoji are used by 92% of the world’s online population, which has put the organization into the spotlight, it says.

The updated site was built with help from a team of designers from Adobe, and features a homepage covered in emoji. The main navigation directs visitors to information about emoji, including how to submit a proposal for a new emoji (which is still not a user-friendly a process), as well as information about “adopting” an emoji — that is, a way to offer a tax-deductible donation to the Unicode Consortium while gaining access to a custom badge you can show off on your own website or social media accounts.

There are currently 136,000 emoji available for “adoption,” the organization notes, including the newly announced additions like the sloth, sea otter, waffle and Saturn.

The new site is definitely more attractive and easier to use following the redesign. But for those who miss the classic look, it’s still live at http://unicode.org/main.html. (Often, you’ll hit the old site when you click through links from the new one. The redesign only goes so deep, it seems.)

While the redesign is welcome, people in search of information about their favorite emoji — like, how it looks on different platforms, when it was officially added or what the emoji means, for example — may find the website Emojipediaa better bet.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/17/for-world-emoji-day-the-unicode-consortium-redesigns-its-site-to-be-more-user-friendly/

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