PlayStation 5

It’s a new console, and it promises to be faster, more immersive, and just plain better than anything else.

The PlayStation 5 comes in two different models, the digital edition, and the, should we call it, non-digital edition? The PlayStation 5 digital edition comes without an optical blue-ray disc-drive, which means you’ll only buy and play games digitally. And since there isn’t an optical drive, it also means you won’t be able to play DVD/Blue-Ray movies, or anything else that requires an optical drive.

Sony claims that this PlayStation will offer a more immersive experience, and I hope that it does, it’s 2020 and it’s time for these games consoles to showcase all the advances in both software and hardware.

The PlayStation 5 has a faster SSD drive; for those not familiar with the term, it means that it has a Solid State Drive, and it is, in fact, faster than the regular Hard Disc Drives (HDD). The SSD drives are also more durable as they don’t have any moving parts. So that’s a good thing, trust me.

The PlayStation 5 also comes with a more in-depth immersion experience due to its support for haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and 3D audio. And what does all that mean? Good question, haptic feedback refers to any technology that can create an experience of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user. For example, this PlayStation probably has much better haptic feedback through the game controllers.

This new game console also promises to have adaptive triggers, which means you truly feel the tension of your actions in the game, for example, when you are jumping, shooting, or drawing a bow to shoot an arrow.” This, along with the haptic feedback, is a way of trying to pull you, the player, further into the game than ever before, making a more immerse experience.

It’s been a while since I owned a PlayStation, I think the last one I bought was the PS3, and then I switched to the Microsoft Xbox. The main reason I did this was that my PlayStation fan was very loud, and it was very annoying when playing games or watching movies. However, I will buy this new PlayStation 5, I have to experience it to further expand my review and opinion of it, but so far, it looks good.

The only thing that I don’t like is the design, it just isn’t futuristic enough, in my opinion, and it reminds me of Sony’s dog robot. It’s probably the color and the shape of it, I’m not sure, but in a way, it looks like a cheap plastic toy to me. To be fair, I haven’t seen the real device, my opinion about the design is purely based on the photos and videos I have seen so far.

What are your thoughts? Are you ordering one? It launches in the holiday 2020, according to Sony’s website, which means, Christmas 2020, or December 2020. Some rumors the cost of the PlayStation 5 is going to be between $470 – $499.

Sonos shows its laziness when handling legacy products, it later apologizes.

A few days ago, Sonos sent a message to its customers, informing them that certain products people had bought years ago were going to be obsolete and possibly unusable by May 2020.

The notification started an outcry on Twitter and other online platforms and forums. People began sharing their discontent about Sonos’ decision to stop software updates and new features for what they are clarifying now as legacy products.

You see, many people had spent a lot of money in the early days of Sonos by trusting this company and investing in their product. These early-customers felt cheated by a company they supported from the beginning.

Sonos’ message about legacy products:

In May the following products in your system will be classified as legacy and no longer receive software updates and new features. This will affect your listening experience.

Legacy products were introduced between 2005 and 2011 and, given the age of the technology, fo not have enough memory or processing power to sustain future innovation.

Please note that because Sonos is a system, all products operate on the same software. If modern products remain connected to legacy products after May, they also will not receive software updates and new features.

Sonos’ notification to its customers

Essentially, Sonos told some of their most loyal customers that by May of this year, all of their Sonos products (new and old) were going to be practically neglected from upcoming updates and features, rendering potentially useless in the near future.

After a few days of strong and steady complaints and criticism about this decision by Sonos, the company changed the policy and sent an email to its customers (see image below). Then Sonos’s CEO posted an apology letter to their company blog.

Image

The Sonos’ response is fine, but I wish they would have done that from the beginning and save themselves the hate and all the complaints they justifiably received.

But why did they tried to do this to them in the first place? Laziness.

It was evident from the beginning, at least to their customers, that what Sonos’ was about to do wasn’t the result of limitations with the technology, it wasn’t. The original letter sent to customers with Sonos’ products bought between 2005 and 2011 was just the easy way to deal with this situation. 

Let this be another lesson to other companies out there, and let’s hope that in 10 years or so, Tesla doesn’t try to pull a Sonos with their customers.

Commentary: Will the new Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL phones stand to the new iPhones XS and XS Max?

Apple just had an event a few weeks ago where showed their new iPhones and the new Series 4 Watch, and now it’s the turn for Google which earlier this month, officially announced that its next hardware event is on October 9th in New York City. They are probably going to be presenting the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones as well as perhaps, a new Google Pixelbook.

 

The invitation provided only a GIF with an animated “I ❤ NY” and since the heart contained a “3” is likely an indication of the Pixel 3.

We have all the details about the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max so utilizing the many Google Pixel 3 leaks; I’m going to attempt to compare them – we’ll find out how it compares with the iPhone on October, 9, the day of the Google event.

The Pixel 3 XL

Some of the leaked Pixel 3 XL images clearly show this phone with a pronounced notch as shown on the images below.

Google-Pixel-3-XL
WinFuture

The leaked images above also show a wallpaper with a number 3 and the same color scheme as the animated gif from Google’s event invitation. But let’s get to the specs, the new Pixel 3 XLwill feature an 8-core Qualcomm processor, assuming that’s what the Snapdragon 845 is — and an Adreno 630 GPU. The resolution appears to be 1440×2960 with a pixel density of 494; there’s evidence that the device will have just 4GB of RAM.

The Pixel 3 (non-XL)

The images leaked on the GooglePixel subreddit show a Pixel 3 with no notch, the photos also confirm stereo front-facing speakers, dual selfie cameras, and the same rear, all-glass design as the 3 XL (with a matte coating covering a good portion of it).

pixel3
GooglePixel subreddit

This Pixel 3 appears to have a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 2160×1080 and a 2:1 aspect ratio. The battery is said to be 2,915mAh. The two front-facing cameras appear to be each 8-megapixel sensors. One has an aperture of f/1.8, the other f/2.2; Google is probably following the two-camera approach to allow for wide-angle shots.

How does it compare with the iPhones XS and XS Max?

For starters, the iPhones XS and XS Max win the screen comparison; both phones have larger screens with higher resolution than the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. The iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch display with a resolution of 2436×1125 and pixel density of 458. The iPhone XS Max includes a 6.5-inch display with a resolution of 2688×1242 and same pixel density as the iPhone XS.

The camera’s aperture is similar on both the Pixel 3 and the new iPhones, with the iPhones featuring a f/1.8 and f/2.4 apertures while the Pixel 3 has an aperture of f/1.8, and f/2.2.

Since its initial release, the Google Pixel featured a great camera, I am sure the new Pixel 3 will have an amazing camera, the phone itself has been a favorite of many since its release and I’m sure the Pixel 3 won’t dissapoint.

One difference from the iPhone is that the new Pixel’s rear shooter is just a single-lens one, but that doesn’t mean it’s not capable, as there are rumors that this camera will be capable of amazing low light shots and it also has a new Visual Core.

The price is unknown, but if we use Google Pixel’s historic pricing, it will probably be cheaper than the new iPhone XS models and also the new Galaxy Note 9 – however, it’s very possible that Google might use this as an opportunity to increase the price of this vary capable phone.

The Google Pixel 3 launch date is confirmed for October 9. Stay tuned.

Alexa, Are we there yet?

Amazon hosted a hardware event in Seattle this week, and as expected, it introduced an array of new and updated Echo devices, including the Echo Auto. That’s right, an Echo that you can bring with you, in your car. Echo it’s Amazon’s line of smart speakers and screens, and with the addition of Echo Auto, there is now an Echo device for your car.
Amazon Alexa is the software, a virtual assistant developed by Amazon, first used in the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers developed by Amazon Lab126. It is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, sports, and other real-time information, such as news (Wikipedia).
Amazon’s new Echo Auto will be a hit, I just know that right now. The price point is low, starting at only $24.99 with the introductory offer (By invitation only ) that will save you 50% for a limited time. The regular price is set to be $49.99. This device will bring Alexa’s virtual assistant capabilities to your car, making it safer for you to get information, listen to music, etc. while you drive since all you have to do is talk to it and use voice commands instead of moving your eyes off the road or your hands off the steering wheel.
This is revolutionary, and I’m not talking about the tech of this device but the strategy behind it. The Echo Auto is a simple device, it’s small, it has the full power and versatility of the original Echo, and it will make Alexa accessible from any car, for just $24.99 with the starting price. The benefits of taking Alexa on the road thanks to this new device, the Echo Auto are many. Safety is the first thing that comes to mind, with the Echo Auto, we’ll be able to have amazing hands-free capabilities in our car by just using our voice. No more looking away from the road just to play a song, or make a call.
Just ask Alexa to play music, resume your Audible book, check your calendar, find nearby businesses, make calls, and more. With eight microphones, Echo Auto even hears you over road noise. Echo Auto starts up in seconds, works through your car speakers, and uses your existing smartphone plan. ~ Amazon
The Echo Auto also brings entertainment, you can ask Alexa to tell jokes, play a game, play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more. In my case, having Alexa in my car will allow me to play my podcasts, audiobooks, or listen to the news briefing – all of it without having to use my hands or stop paying attention to the road.
There are already cars with the Alexa software built in, but this little device allows everyone to bring Alexa’s functionality into their car, any car. One concern I have with this (as I do with the rest of the Echo devices) is privacy, and as Amazon continues to conquer the kitchen, the bedroom, the living room, and now the car with its line of smart speakers, I just hope they also continue to maintain the interactions of users with Alexa private.
Alexa, Are we there yet?
This page contains affiliate links, and we may receive compensation if you click on a link. You can read our full advertising disclosure here.

Commentary: Browser wars are here, again.

Remember the competition between Netscape Navigator and IE back in the 90’s? Netscape was the first browser I used, I was in college, and while the computers at the library had installed both Netscape and IE, I personally liked the Netscape Navigator better. By 1999, Microsoft’s IE had approximately 99% of the market, only four years after its release. By then the original browser wars were ending, Netscape was already in a declining trend, and not even the antitrust charges against Microsoft could stop that. Before the release of Mac OS X, Internet Explorer for Mac and Netscape were also the primary browsers in use on the Macintosh platform. Unable to continue commercially funding their product’s development, Netscape responded by open sourcing its product, creating Mozilla. Mozilla struggled to attract developers for a few years, but by 2002 was a relatively large and stable suite of internet software. It was then when Mozilla 1.0 was released as well as a spinoff version of it which later became Firefox. A few years later Microsoft’s Internet Explorer reached a peak market share of more than 94%, but it has been declining ever since. Google Chrome was released in 2008, and just a year later it was already gaining popularity, with an increasing but yet tiny market share.
Browser Market Share Worldwide from Jan – Dec 2009
Move forward ten years, and Google Chrome controls now over close to 60% of the browser market share while Microsoft’s browsers, IE and Edge have together, less than 10% of market share. Apple’s browser, Safari, which was released in 2007 is now the number two browser in the world, with 14.4% of the market share. Safari’s market share is probably the result of its iOS devices popularity like the iPhone and iPad.
Browser Market Share Worldwide from Aug 2017 – Aug 2018
Why do I think the browsers wars are here again? Well, Google’s Chrome has changed quite a bit and has since lost two of its main advantages, simplicity, and speed. Safari isn’t a popular browser, I find many MacOS users prefer Chrome or Firefox to browse the internet while using a MacBook, but the popularity of the iPhone and iPad has helped Apple’s Safari obtain and maintain a healthy market share for some years. The reason I’m calling it a browser war is because Mozilla’s Firefox has been gaining popularity faster than ever with its most recent releases. Apparently, Mozilla has been paying attention to what most people are complaining about regarding the browsers they use. For example, most people (me included) will complain about Chrome’s declining speed and increasing use of memory resources, IE has lost respect amongst pro users, and while Edge is a considerable improvement over IE, it is a fast browser, and it has cool features, it just hasn’t gained any significant market share since its release in 2015. Also worth noticing, Chrome continues to be the most popular browser thanks to the Android platform. I feel most people (perhaps non-technical people) don’t even know what browser they are using on their phones, they just use whatever their phone/tablet comes with. And this explains, at least in part, the larger market share for Chrome and also Safari as the chart below shows.
Browser Version Market Share Worldwide – August 2018

Bottom line

I personally have switched to Firefox recently, and I am pleased with the results. It is visibly faster, the user interface is cleaner, has some privacy features built in such as tracking protection, and it’s just a user-friendly open-source browser that receives regular updates – with the Mozilla Foundation boasting that it uses 30 percent less memory than Chrome –What’s not to like?