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Global Tech Roundup: Play Station 5 Revealed, Elon Musk’s Starship and Other Stories

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It’s the end of another busy week in the global tech space. Stories of startups raising funds, hitting milestones, releasing new and interesting products among others made rounds across the tech world.

Here is a quick roundup of some of the major stories you might have missed.

Starship is Elon’s Top Priority

After SpaceX successful launch of its humans to space with the Crew Dragon, its CEO Elon Musk as revealed that the company’s top priority now is developing its next-generation spacecraft, Starship.

Starship is designed to be a fully reusable vehicle that can support both crew and cargo configurations while making trips to both Earth orbit and deep space destinations including the moon and Mars.

The spacecraft has been in development at a SpaceX production and testing site in Boca Chica, Texas, since 2019. When completed SpaceX the Starship wants to replace both Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy.

PlayStation 5 (PS5) Launch

After more than 4 months of waiting, Sony finally unveiled its latest PlayStation Console (PS5). Announced back at CES in January, gamers and game enthusiasts can now have a feel of the new and improved game console.

The PS5 tower unveiled is pretty slick, with a sort of white with black trim colour. Spec-wise, it has an AMD Zen 2 CPU and AMD’s rDNA 2-based GPU, coupled with 16GB of RAM and an 825GB SSD. It also a separate HD camera accessory and matching Pulse 3D headphones.

Details about its pricing and other features will be released later.

German Flying Taxi Startup becomes a Unicorn

With a new round of funding German flying taxi, Lilium has become a billion-dollar “unicorn”. The $35 million new funding came from
Baillie Gifford & Co., one of the largest investor in Tesla.

The startup which makes an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing passenger jet is now worth more than a billion dollars, according to post-money valuation.

The new funding brings the Lilium’s total investment to date to more than $375 million.

The startup’s CEO, Daniel Wiegand says the company’s goal is to create a transportation system that’s accessible to everyone and not just to be used as a toy for the rich.

Twitter to revamp verification System

Verifying twitter accounts will soon be easier. The social media company is planning to bring back the option that allows individual users to request verification.

The new in-app system for requesting verification was discovered by a reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong.

For years, Twitter’s account verification system has been mysterious as it appeared to be no general form of how or whose account is verified. This has led to confusion among users as to what it takes to actually be verified on the platform.

However, with the new verification system, Twitter has confirmed that the public will know what exactly is require to be verified.

The company didn’t reveal when the new system would go live or what the new guidelines will state when they become available.

Facebook Launches Messenger Kids across Sub-Saharan Africa

Facebook is rolling out Messenger Kids, its video chat and messaging app for Kids between the ages of 6 to 12 years in Sub-saharan Africa.

The app was designed to allow children to have fun by connecting with friends and family in safe space controlled by the parent.

The app is full of features like Playful masks, emojis and sound effects that make conversations to funny and interesting.

It also a library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools to let them decorate content and express their personalities.

Messenger Kids is now available to download on the Apple App and Google Play Stores.

This sums it, friends. Hope to see you here next week!

Source: https://technext.ng/2020/06/14/global-tech-roundup-play-station-5-revealed-elon-musks-starship-and-other-stories/

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Google Pixel 5 XL leak reveals a massive redesign

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  • New Google Pixel 5 XL renders have leaked, with a fairly small predicted screen size of 6.1 inches. 
  • The images show a punch-hole display up front and a fingerprint sensor in the rear, which means Face Unlock could be out.
  • The leaker claims that the Pixel 5 XL will have a plastic back and sides and yet pack a premium Snapdragon 865 chip. 

If these new Pixel 5 XL renders and leaked details are accurate, then we need to be ready for an entirely new, and perhaps confused, design direction from Google.

Casemaker Pigtou (via Slashgear) posted renders of the Pixel 5 XL on its French-language site, provided to it by xleaks7. Pigtou also posted renders of the standard Pixel 5 recently, and whether or not you’re convinced they’re real, they’re certainly just as detailed.

First off, we get told the exact size of the Pixel 5 XL: 153.8 x 74 x 8.5 mm (6.05 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches). That makes the Pixel 5 XL’s screen a 6.1-inch display by Pigtou’s math; fairly small for a supposed ‘XL’ model. Compared to the Galaxy S20 Plus‘ 6.7 inches or the OnePlus 8 Pro‘s 6.8 inches, this sounds tiny. Even the smallest Galaxy S20 is 6.2 inches across the diagonal.

On the front side of these renders we see a punch-hole display, like the one expected for the Pixel 4a, while on the back we see a square camera bump that looks like the one which the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL use. The back also features a fingerprint scanner, which was not present on the Pixel 4 since it had Face Unlock. Given there’s no longer a big bezel to hide the necessary Motion Sense sensor for facial recognition, it’s not impossible to believe Google would go back to this tried-and-tested method.

Pigtou also revealed that the Pixel 5 XL will have a QHD display. QHD resolution is something of a necessity in the Android flagship world right now, as is a high refresh rate. Although the Pixel 4 had a 90Hz display, we’ve heard nothing about whether that’s coming to the Pixel 5 series or if it’s getting a boost to the 120Hz standard laid down by Samsung, OnePlus and others.

Another claim is that this phone will have almost 4,000 mAh of battery capacity. Like with the display, this seems oddly small, but at least there’s some precedent here. Google typically uses smaller batteries than most of the competition, but instead makes up for it by making very efficient software. But given the Pixel 4 XL had a 3,700 mAh battery, which scored 9 hours and 42 minutes on our custom battery test (11 hours is the average), this doesn’t sound like a big upgrade.

The final interesting detail is that while there’ll be a 5G Pixel 5 XL, there will also be a 4G version for countries without the 5G infrastructure in place. This hopefully means there would be a cheaper version of the handset available even in 5G markets, which would no doubt be attractive to people who don’t live in the small areas where 5G is currently operational.

Examining the phone’s body in more detail, Pigtou said this phone has plastic back and sides, instead of the Pixel’s previous glass and metal. This would be a big step back in terms of quality. Most flagship phones made in the past few years have had glass backs, including previous Pixel phones, so it’s odd that Google would intentionally make the phone feel cheaper.

There’s also a headphone jack on the top edge of the phone, a feature that Google has only added to the original Pixel and the Pixel 3a. It’s often missed by users who haven’t invested in wireless headphones or wireless earbuds yet, so seeing it on a 2020 phone, and a flagship no less, would be quite intriguing for these potential customers.

Despite the exterior, Pigtou claimed that the Pixel 5 uses the Snapdragon 865 chipset within. That would make sense if Google was to follow its previous phones, but many other rumors have suggested Google could use a Snapdragon 765 chip, which would make the Pixel 5 less powerful but also mean a cheaper pricetag while still retaining 5G connectivity.

Taken as a complete package, this leak with its contradictory information is reminiscent of another recent leak which made similar claims. In our coverage, we speculated that this is actually a mislabelled Pixel 4a XL, the supposedly cancelled large version of the Pixel 4a which would be more likely to have non-premium features like a plastic chassis and a headphone jack. 

Pigtou’s leak gives us the same feeling, and that while it may bear some resemblance to whatever Google does bring out, this precise combination of features makes little sense when in context of other Pixel phones.

Google typically brings out new Pixel phones in October, so mark your calendars for a potential Pixel 5 launch that month. Since we’ve yet to see the Pixel 4a, which has been expected to launch imminently since May, it’s possible we’ll see it at the same time if Google elects not to launch in the next month or two to battle against the OnePlus Nord.

Source: https://www.tomsguide.com/news/pixel-5-xl-leak-reveals-googles-massive-and-confusing-redesign

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4 years later, and ‘Pokémon Go’ players have spent nearly $4 billion on the wildly popular smartphone game

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Just over four years ago, “Pokmon Go” launched for smartphones and sparked a worldwide phenomenon.

  • With tens of millions of players around the world, “Pokmon Go” has been a smash-hit success: Players have spent nearly $4 billion on the game across the last four years, according to Sensor Tower data .
  • As the years have gone on, player spending has actually increased 2019 was the game’s biggest year since launch, with nearly $1 billion spent.

In July 2016, “Pokmon Go” sparked a worldwide event: Millions of people all over the world were suddenly outside in droves, capturing Pokmon.

As the years have gone on, that all-encompassing level of interest has dissipated. But millions of people are still actively playing “Pokmon Go,” and those millions of players have continued spending money on the free-to-play smartphone game.

As of this July, “Pokmon Go” players have spent nearly approximately $3.6 billion, according to mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower .

Perhaps more impressive: 2019 was the game’s biggest year yet with just shy of $1 billion spent.

Despite costing nothing to play, “Pokmon Go” makes money by charging players for in-game items. Those items can be earned by playing the game, but some players instead choose to purchase them with real money.

It’s those optional purchases that drove nearly $4 billion in sales across the last four years players buying Pok balls, and other consumable items.

Source: https://www.pulse.ng/bi/tech/4-years-later-and-pokemon-go-players-have-spent-nearly-dollar4-billion-on-the-wildly/em88mt1

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Android 11 lets you not automatically connect to specific Wi-Fi networks

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There are plenty of cases where you might want a Wi-Fi network saved on your phone, but don’t want your phone to always connect to it. Maybe your cell service is sometimes faster than your home internet, or maybe you have a public network that you don’t want to use all the time. Whatever the reason might be, Android 11 will let you disable automatically connecting to specific networks.

Android 11 has a new toggle in the settings panel for Wi-Fi networks called ‘Auto-connect,’ and when it is switched off, your device won’t automatically connect to the given network as soon as it is discovered. This is a separate option from the ‘Connect to public networks’ setting that has been in Android for years. Also, this isn’t exclusive to the recent Android 11 Beta 2 release — it was present in Beta 1, and possibly DP4 (or earlier) as well.

Left: Android 10; Right: Android 11 Beta 2

There’s a running gag at this point that new features in Android often show up on Samsung phones first, and sure enough, an identical toggle is already present in Samsung’s flavor of Android 10. Below is a screenshot from my Tab S6.

Regardless, it’s nice to see this feature make its way into stock Android, so it will be available on more devices. Turning Wi-Fi off entirely when you only want to avoid one network is definitely annoying.

Source: https://www.androidpolice.com/2020/07/08/android-11-lets-you-not-automatically-connect-to-specific-wi-fi-networks/

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